A man who opened fire on officers in Ferguson, Missouri, on the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death was critically wounded when the officers shot back, St. Louis County's police chief said early Monday.
Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference that officers had been tracking the man, who they believed was armed, during a protest marking the death of Brown, the black, unarmed 18-year-old whose killing by a white Ferguson police officer touched off a national "Black Lives Matter" movement.
The man approached the officers, who were in an unmarked police van, and opened fire, Belmar said. The officers returned fire from inside the vehicle and then pursued the man on foot when he ran.
The man again fired on the officers, the chief said, and all four officers fired back. He was struck and fell.
The man was taken to a hospital, where Belmar said he was in "critical, unstable" condition in surgery. He was not immediately identified.
None of the officers was seriously injured. All four have been put on standard administrative leave.
The shooting happened shortly after what the chief called "an exchange of gunfire between two groups" rang out around 11:15 p.m. Sunday while protesters were gathered on West Florissant Avenue, a business zone that saw rioting and looting last year after Brown's killing. The shots sent protesters and reporters running for cover.
The anniversary of the killing, which cast greater scrutiny on how police interact with black communities, has sparked days of renewed protests, though until Sunday they had been peaceful and without any arrests.