A police officer shot and critically injured a man as demonstrations against the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen continued for the third night in Ferguson, Mo., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Police said the man pulled a handgun on the officer who shot him, according to the report. The shooting took place close to where people were protesting against the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot by police on Saturday. Brown's death has prompted a federal inquiry, nightly protests in Ferguson and debate around the country.
Police claim that the teen hit the officer who shot him. That account has been disputed by friends and family. Brown would have started college on Monday.
Police spokesman Officer Brian Schellman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Tuesday's shooting occurred when police responded to a call that shots were fired by four or five men wearing ski masks and carrying handguns near the site of demonstrations.
The man who was shot by the officer was taken to a hospital.
Two churches held meetings on Tuesday night to discuss Brown's death at the hands of the police. Police have denied requests to name the officer who shot Brown, citing safety concerns.
At a town hall meeting, Rev. Al Sharpton addressed a cheering and chanting crowd.
Sharpton said, "You’ve got issues in this city," referring to the fact that there were only a few black police officers and that the majority of arrests were of black people.
Gov. Jay Nixon, who attended a community forum at another church, told the crowd of around 400 people, "Justice must not simply be pursued, but in fact achieved. Instead of burning bridges in anger, we must rebuild them with love."
Nixon said that the shooting felt like an "old wound that has been torn open afresh" in a nation struggling with race relations.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told the crowd, "I want what you want. I want the truth and I want justice and I want it as soon as possible."
Attendees at one of the church rallies then arrived close to the site of the shooting to protest the riot police line.
Tear gas was fired during the night as police faced off with the demonstrators. By early Wednesday morning, police had cleared the area.
Police officer deployed tear gas to disperse a crowd that had gathered to protest sometime after midnight.
BuzzFeed's Joel Anderson described the scenes of protest from Ferguson:
In a separate incident, a woman was shot in the head in a drive-by shooting. It was unclear whether the shooting was related to the protests.
In its first press release since Brown's death, Ferguson Police Department said the city "mourns the loss of Michael Brown's life" and is working to "restore confidence in the safety of our neighborhoods and our community."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at email@example.com.
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