Two police officers were shot by unknown assailants during protests in Ferguson, Missouri on Wednesday night in what St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar called an “ambush.” A 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder and a 32-year-old officer from Webster Groves was shot in the face. Both are expected to survive. In a press conference Thursday, Belmar said three or four shots were fired from across the street where protesters and police were gathered, though the shots did not come from among the protesters. Detectives are exploring possible leads. Protesters gathered across the street from Ferguson police headquarters just hours after Chief Tom Jackson resigned.
In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the shootings, writing in part, “This heinous assault on two brave law-enforcement officers was inexcusable and repugnant. I condemn any violence against any public safety officials in the strongest terms, and the Department of Justice will never accept any threats or violence directed at those who serve and protect our communities.”