According to St. Louis Today, a man that was shot in the officer-involved shootout that occurred during the Ferguson protests one-year anniversary on Sunday (Aug. 9) has been confirmed as Tyrone Harris Jr. Shortly after being sent to the hospital in critical condition, he finished surgery at around 3 a.m.
His father, Tyrone Harris, spoke out on the incident confirming his son’s identity. He added that Harris Jr. was very close friends with Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed teen that was gunned down by former policeman Darren Wilson. Authorities claim that Harris Jr. fired gunshots first, causing four detectives to respond in defense. They sifted through the large crowd of protestors searching for persons they believed to be armed during the demonstration.
In a statement released by the St. Louis county police department today (Aug. 10), authorities claim that after the shootout, the “unknown” suspect fled the scene and encountered detectives in unmarked police vehicles. The suspect, according to the statement, then proceeded to unleash gunfire as the detectives returned the shots. They chased him on foot and eventually engaged with the suspect close enough to strike him with multiple shots, authorities claim. After being transferred to the hospital, the suspect was said to be in critical condition. Though the statement does not identify by name the suspects believed to be involved, most believe that Harris Jr. is one of whom they were referring to.
Despite many claims that have circulated on social media, the released statement also details that the second incident that took place following the police-involved shooting was an assault on a St. Louis media member. Police said that the person was robbed and assaulted by unknown persons in a nearby parking lot. Belmar called the shooters criminals, adding that they were hell bent on destroying peace during the protests. “There is a small group of people out there that are intent on making sure we don’t have peace that prevails,” he said during the press conference.
Harris Jr.’s father believes that authorities claims are sketchy, however. “We think there’s a lot more to this than what’s being said,” he said. The four detectives involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave as details continue to emerge from the several incidents. STL Today also reported that they were not wearing body cameras.
Authorities are now conducting an investigation on the shooting and the robbery-assault incident that took place that night. Read the full statement here: