The two police officers shot Thursday morning in Ferguson, Missouri are expected to recover from their injuries and investigators say they have a lead on the suspects in the shooting.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar held a press conference on Thursday morning during which he said authorities believe the shooting of the officers was a planned ambush. One officer was shot in the face, just below his right eye, and the bullet lodged behind his ear, Mr Belmar said. The other office was shot in the shoulder.
“We could have buried two police officers next week over this,” the police chief said, adding that the injuries sustained are not expected to be long-term.
Protestors took to the streets following the resignation of Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson – who was the third city official to resign this week – to show that they were not satisfied and demanded more changes. Three other city officials have been fired.
Shots were fired from across the street from the police station, Mr Belmar said. Police also have a lead on possible suspects in the shooting, he said, but did not expand.
The recent upheaval in Ferguson is the result of a Justice Department report that found years of systematic discrimination that targeted blacks for traffic stops and other tickets as a way to generate revenue.
Years of racial tension in the suburb of St. Louis boiled over last summer when a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. The officer was not indicted in Mr Brown’s death, renewing protests that sometimes turned violent.
It is not clear if Thursday’s shooting was done by a protestor or someone removed from the demonstration. Police continue to investigate the incident.
Follow @PaytonGuion on Twitter.