Four police officers have been shot during protests in St. Louis which have been held over the tragic death of George Floyd.
Authorities in St. Louis said that the officers were shot during protests in the city’s downtown area as officers came under sustained fire.
St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden told local reporters that one officer was shot in the arm, one was shot in the foot and two officers were shot in the leg.
Chief Hayden said that the officers were hit by gunfire while standing on a police line that had been set up to contain protestors.
Shortly after the shooting, Chief Hayden said:
“As we speak we’re trying to get control out of this city, still hearing gunfire and everything. I don’t know what else to say. This is horrible”.
Hayden added that he believed that: “some coward randomly shot at the police line.”
The police fired no shots towards where the gunfire was coming from, as officers were not able to identify the shooter.
Officers have also been shot in Las Vegas and Richmond Va. Their condition is not known.
The four St. Louis officers were rushed to hospital but are expected to recover from their injuries.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that “heavy gunfire” broke out at around 12:25 hours local time.
In a video shared on Twitter (scroll down), dozens of shots can be heard as police cars and members of the public scatter.
During the protests, a 7-Eleven store was looted and set on fire.
Chief Hayden told reporters that a group of around 200 people who “had no intention of protesting” started throwing rocks and fireworks at police officers.
Hayden said the rioters were “hyping up” the crowd and “high fiving” each other. He said they started throwing missiles at police officers and then looting all over downtown.
St. Louis Mayor, Lyda Krewson, wrote on Facebook:
“Please keep these officers in your thoughts and prayers, as well as all our brave first responders responding to the unfolding situation downtown tonight”.
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