Witnesses said Thursday that the shots that struck two police officers doing crowd control at a protest outside the Ferguson, Mo. police department didn’t come from demonstrators.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said in a news conference that the gunfire came from an area across the street and to the northwest of the department building. When a reporter asked him to confirm that the shots didn’t come from protesters, Belmar responded that while he couldn’t say who carried out the shooting he thought the perpetrator was “somehow embedded in that group of folks.”
But witnesses who spoke to local and national news outlets said they saw the shots come from a nearby hilltop.
Freelance photographer Bradley J. Rayford told the New York Times that he was standing near the officers when he “heard the bullets go past my head.” He told the newspaper that he saw muzzle fire from the direction of a hill across from the police station.
Witnesses told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the shots appeared to come from a block of homes on Tiffin Avenue, which intersects South Florissant Road where the Ferguson Police Department is located.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that several witnesses said the shots came from a hill past where protesters gathered at the police station.