One person was shot and seven people arrested early this morning as police used smoke and tear gas to impose a curfew following the killing of an unarmed black teenager.
Officers are seeking the person who shot the critically-wounded victim after the 12am-5am curfew took hold in Ferguson, Missouri – eight days after Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead by police.
Police said their strong response came after people broke into a restaurant and took position on the roof overlooking officers, while another man flashed a handgun as armoured vehicles approached.
It came as a first photograph emerged showing Darren Wilson, the officer who gunned down Brown.
Some 200 defiant protesters remained on the streets of Ferguson last night after the curfew took effect – and a first photograph emerged showing the officer who gunned down Brown.
As midnight arrived people remained on the corner of Canfield Drive and West Florissant Avenue in the St Louis suburb, shouting and screaming despite calls for then to go home.
A man walked past and pulled up his T-shirt so it showed off a gun stuffed into his shorts in a warning to get out. At 12.30am the lines of police on both sides pulled back and reinforcements arrived.
Dozens of heavily armed officers with batons, shields, helmets, assembled in grid formation. Swat vans came down the hill with cops on the top with assault rifles.
Over a loudspeaker they told the crowd they were in violation of the curfew and would be ‘subject to arrest and or other actions’. The small army with around 100 Swat officers slowly advanced as a Molotov cocktail flared up in the crowd.
At 12.45am all the officers put on gas masks and the first of at least five volleys of tear gas, 18 shots in total, was sent into the crowd, causing them to scatter.
Police slowly advanced using search lights to check buildings on the side of the road – officers said they feared that the protesters had gone to the sides and that they might open fire.
At 1.30am around 18 shots could be heard going off to the east of West Florissant. Journalists were kept back well behind police lines so it was not possible to see what was going on on the front line.
Chants of ‘no justice, no curfew,’ rang out taunting police. Officers spoke through a loudspeaker: ‘You are in violation of a state-imposed curfew. You must disperse immediately. Failure to comply, may result in arrest.
Some demonstrators stood with their hands up, the emblematic pose used by many protesters to characterise the position witnesses have said Brown had assumed when he was fatally shot.
By 2am the police had advanced to just to the north of the QuikTrip convenience store which burned down during the first day of rioting.
The operation wrapped up at 2.20am, leaving the street empty and quiet. An officer at the scene said that there had been ‘under a dozen’ arrests and that one protestor had been shot.
Shouts could be heard from behind police lines but it wasn’t clear how many protesters had been penned in. Chanting could be heard coming from the site of where Brown died to the East.
A heavily armed cop who was smiling as he walked back from the front line was asked how it was going. He said: ‘Oh, it’s going’.
The angry clashes and scenes straight out of a war-zone came after another day of dramatic developments in Ferguson over the shooting of Brown.
Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, who has been identified as the law enforcement official who shot the teen, was pictured for the first time in a report yesterday.
Yahoo News published the photograph of Officer Wilson on their homepage in a report detailing his February commendation for ‘extraordinary effort in the line of duty’.
Officer Wilson is now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting. The photo of the 28-year-old was, according to the report, originally posted on Facebook by his father, John Wilson.