Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson man shot in fresh clashes 'critical' as curfew expires

About 150 protesters defied a midnight curfew enforced over Missouri town 

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The Independent US

One man is in a critical condition in hospital after a shooting during protests in Ferguson over the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said one person was shot and critically wounded after dozens defied a midnight curfew imposed on the town, NBC reports. He said seven people have also been arrested.

Tensions grew overnight after the Governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency in the St Louis suburb following violence on Friday. Governor Jay Nixon ordered a curfew to run from midnight to 5am beginning Saturday, telling reporters: “This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching.”

Many left the area peacefully before midnight, but around 150 protesters refused to leave before the deadline and police fired smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Johnson defended their use of tear gas as a “proper response”, which he said was done after a police car was shot at. 

Highway Patrol Spokesman John Hotz initially said police only used smoke, but later told The Associated Press they also fired tear gas canisters. He said of police efforts: "Obviously, we're trying to give them every opportunity to comply with the curfew."

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Johnson said the police operation throughout the night was in response to unrest that erupted near the Red The BBQ Man restaurant in Ferguson, not in response to the curfew.

On Friday, Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson admitted at a news conference that the white officer who shot and killed Brown was not aware the teenager was a suspect in a store robbery, and had in fact approached Brown because “he was walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic".

At around midnight that evening, a large crowd broke into the convenience store that the 18-year-old allegedly robbed the day he was killed and several other stores were also looted, while car windows and the glass around at least one bus stop were smashed.

Johnson said rocks and other objects were also hurled at police clad in riot gear, who responded with tear gas to disperse the crowd.