Two Ferguson police officers were shot just after midnight Thursday during a protest in response to the Ferguson Police chief’s resignation.
The Associated Press reports a 32-year-old officer was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer was hit in the shoulder. At a press conference, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar described the two officers injuries as “very serious” but that both were conscious. CNN reports the officers are in serious but stable condition.
He went on to say the assumption was they were targeted because they were police officers; police have not arrested the perpetrator or perpetrators.
“These police officers were standing there, and they were shot just because they were police officers,” Belmar said.
An NBC News producer who witnessed the shooting described the scary scene on the “Today Show.”
“It sounded like firecrackers, that’s what we thought at first, but when everybody hit the floor and the police said, ‘get down, get down,’ and guns were drawn, we all hit the floor,” NBC News Producer Jennifer Roller told Savannah Guthrie. “It was a frightening moment.”
“We were on our knees next to the police officers,” she continued. “And there were no more shots fired but it was a very, very tense few moments.”
The tension in Ferguson has reached a boiling point after a recent Department of Justice report was released condemning the Ferguson Police Department for unequal treatment of African American citizens.
Watch NBC News’ report.