Four police officers were shot early Tuesday in St. Louis, police said in a tweet.
All four officers remained conscious and breathing before being taken away from the scene. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the officers were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“They were standing near a line, and all of a sudden they felt pain,” St. Louis Police Chief John W. Hayden said at a news conference early Tuesday. He said two officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot, and one was shot in the arm. Police had not identified a suspected shooter or made any arrests early Tuesday.
“Some coward fired shots at officers, and now we have four in the hospital, and thank God they’re alive,” he added.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that heavy gunfire could be heard in downtown after midnight.
By early Tuesday, officers were still taking gunfire in downtown St. Louis, police said.
Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment or additional information.
We have had 4 officers struck by gunfire tonight. All have been transported to an area hospital. All are conscious and breathing. Their injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.
Officers are still taking gunfire downtown & we will share more info as it available. pic.twitter.com/Cwypi5EorP
— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) June 2, 2020
In a large, peaceful protest, demonstrators marched through the city earlier in the day, but it was winding down by 7:30 p.m. Most remaining protesters dispersed after police shot tear gas into the crowd just before 9 p.m., the Post-Dispatch reported. Looting began less than an hour later, and people set a 7-Eleven on fire after raiding it, according to the newspaper.
About 200 people were involved in break-ins and looting, Hayden said, and some people threw rocks and explosives at police officers. People tried to pour gasoline on officers, he said. At one point, officers used force to push people away from police headquarters.
“We’re trying to figure out what is going on,” Hayden said. “Mr. Floyd was injured down and was killed somewhere else, and they’re tearing up cities all over the country.”
He said his officers showed “extraordinary restraint” as people threw rocks and explosives and shot at police lines.
“I don’t understand what that has to do with Mr. Floyd’s death,” the chief said. “That’s what I don’t understand.”
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