FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A weekend of peaceful events marking the anniversary of Michael Brown's death turned violent when dozens of gunshots rang out at a late-night protest and police a brief time later seriously wounded a black 18-year-old accused of opening fire on officers.
The Sunday shooting left 18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr. in critical condition and raised tensions in the once-sleepy St. Louis suburb that catapulted to international notoriety following the killing of Brown, who was black and unarmed, by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer.
Here's a look at the Harris shooting and continued protests in Ferguson and beyond:
LATE-NIGHT GUNFIRE AND RECENT SHOOTINGS:
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that as many as six different people fired gunshots in a crowd of several hundred people who had gathered along the West Florissant Avenue retail corridor. The area was a hub of unrest soon after Brown's death and again when a county grand jury decided in November to not indict Wilson, who has since resigned, on criminal charges. The chief said that Harris, who was charged Monday with 10 felonies, shot into the windshield of an unmarked police van and then again as he was chased on foot by four plainclothes officers.
Three hours later, two teens were wounded in a drive-by shooting at the Canfield Green apartments where Brown had been killed one year ago.
And late Saturday, a 22-year-old man was shot in the arm in the parking lot of a West Florissant strip mall parking lot. Police charged a 17-year-old in that incident.
Tyrone Harris Sr. said his son and namesake attended the same high school as Brown, whom the younger Harris considered a good friend. Harris Sr. disputed the police account of the shooting, calling it a "bunch of lies." He said two girls who were with his son told him he was unarmed and had been drawn into a dispute involving two groups of young people. He said his son, who planned to attend a St. Louis technical college to train as an electrician, was shot between eight and 12 times, an account that has not been confirmed by police.
Online court records show that Tyrone Harris Jr. was charged in November with stealing a motor vehicle and a gun, as well as resisting arrest by fleeing. A court hearing in that case is scheduled for Aug. 31.
A clergy-led protest Monday afternoon outside the downtown St. Louis federal courthouse led to 57 arrests in an act of civil disobedience planned long before the latest police shooting in north St. Louis County.
Later Monday, activists targeted the St. Louis County headquarters of Enterprise Holdings, the nation's largest car rental company, to protest the work of the Keefe Group, a subsidiary that stocks prison commissaries where inmates can buy snacks, clothing, toiletries, prepaid telephone calling cards and other items. Protesters also briefly shut down a stretch of Interstate 70 in the county, leading to additional arrests.
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger responded to the latest violence by declaring a state of emergency, which authorizes the county police force to take control of emergency management in and near Ferguson.
CRITICISM OF OFFICERS
Activists were quick to criticize the county police for the use of plainclothes officers. Kayla Reed of the Organization of Black Struggle called the move a "poor decision" that "made it difficult for people to identify police officers, which is essential to the safety of community members," while the Rev. Osagyefo Sekou decried "overly aggressive policing" in a city still "reeling from grief."
County police spokesman Shawn McGwire countered that the tactic is a standard law enforcement practice "used for the purpose of identifying agitators or armed persons in the crowd," along with providing police with a "second set of eyes." He noted that the while the officers were riding in an unmarked vehicle and not outfitted in full police uniforms, they did wear police vests.
'DARREN WILSON DAY':
Nearly 120 miles west of Ferguson, protesters gathered Monday outside police headquarters in the college town of Columbia, Missouri, after a post on the Facebook page of the Columbia Police Officers Association, a police union, declared the anniversary of Brown's death as "Darren Wilson Day."
The post — which the city's police chief told protesters was offensive — was later removed.
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