FERGUSON, Missouri.: Violence again erupted in the St. Louis area near the site of the police shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, according to local police, despite calls by U.S. President Barack Obama and activists for a measured response.
Early Wednesday, a police officer shot and critically wounded a man who drew a handgun near the site of protests over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, a St. Louis County Police Department officer said.
Police responded about an hour after midnight to reports of four or five men with shotguns and wearing ski masks. They encountered multiple suspects running, one of whom pulled a gun on an officer, who fired at him, the county officer said.
The incidents followed two nights of violent protests, looting and arrests in Ferguson, the largely black St. Louis suburb where the shooting of Brown took place.
Obama promised a full investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the teenager’s death.
“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but ... I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding,” Obama said in a statement.
Friends and family of Brown held a peaceful church vigil Tuesday night, after his father pleaded for an end to the violence. Standing with supporters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, Michael Brown Sr. said he wanted justice for his son but wanted it “the right way.”
“I need all of us to come together and do this right, the right way,” said Brown, who wore a T-shirt showing his son’s baby picture. “No violence.”
Several hundred protesters appeared to heed the calls for nonviolence, chanting “hands up, don’t shoot” and “no justice, no peace” during a tense but ultimately peaceful standoff with police near the site of Brown’s death.