Gunfire rang out at a Ferguson, Missouri protest late Tuesday just moments after a vehicle struck a protester on the second anniversary of Michael Brown’s death.
At least 20 rounds of bullets erupted around 9:15 p.m., within 30 seconds of the collision along W. Florissant Ave. The strip is known as the stomping ground where rioters destroyed businesses during a series of anti-police brutality demonstrations following Brown’s death in 2014.
The victim had stepped onto the roadway as a crowd of protesters walked along the shoulder when a white car slammed him to the pavement. Shots were fired shortly after the incident as screaming onlookers surrounded the injured man and others chased the vehicle. Whether or not anyone was wounded during the exchange of gunfire remains unclear. A witness said the shooter was targeting the vehicle that hit the man. “A young lady pulled out a gun and tried shooting out her tires,” Larry Miller of the Ferguson Freedom Fighters told the New York Daily News. “They were chasing the car, she was driving to get away because she didn’t know it was a dead end in the McDonald’s parking lot.”
A video posted to Facebook shows a woman screaming, “Somebody needs to stop her” before the shooter opened fire.
The victim was left lying on the road in a fetal position due to the impact of the vehicle. A friend reportedly carried him to safety. The unidentified man had blood on his face, according to witnesses. The shooter has not been apprehended.
Despite video footage of the incident, Ferguson Spokesman Jeff Small said there was no evidence that someone had been struck by a vehicle. He declined to comment on why the shots were fired.
A relative identified by witnesses as the victim’s brother reportedly took the wounded man to a nearby hospital. Police found several bullet casings and protesters were told to clear the area. Four protesters were arrested at the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis during an outdoor performance of “Aida,” following the shooting.