St. Louis County has ended the state of emergency put into effect after gunfire broke out over the weekend, as people were marking the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
County Executive Steve Stenger imposed the order Monday afternoon, following the shooting the night before. The state of emergency gave St. Louis County police authority over police emergency management in Ferguson and the surrounding areas.
Stenger decided several times to extend the state of emergency, which was to last through Friday, but then lifted it early, signaling a return to normal police operations in Ferguson. In a statement, Stenger said:
“After reviewing the events of the past four evenings, under the state of emergency, I am pleased to report our law enforcement officers have established order while preventing further acts of violence in Ferguson.
“I have issued a second executive order ending the state of emergency effective immediately. I want to emphasize local law enforcement will remain vigilant, and officers are prepared to respond swiftly if necessary.
“I commend the professionalism of our St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, our police department, and the outstanding work done by all officers involved in protecting life, property and peace.”
NPR’s Bill Chappell reported on the weekend violence for the Two-Way, and said that after a day of peaceful protests Sunday marking Brown’s death, gunshots rang out around 11:10 p.m. local time. He wrote:
“Police say that the initial outburst of gunfire seemed to be between two groups, with as many as six people firing. Photos from the scene show two unmarked police cars with bullet holes.
“St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said in a news conference that plainclothes officers pursued one of the suspects, who then fired upon them. Other officers were on the street, wearing riot gear.
“The plainclothes officers returned fire, striking the suspect, Belmar said.
“Belmar said the suspect is in surgery in ‘critical … unstable condition.’
“The four officers have been placed on administrative leave.”
The suspect was later identified as 18-year-old Tyrone Harris. On Monday, he was charged with 10 felonies, including armed criminal action, first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and a firearms charge.
Harris’ father has said that he believes his son was unarmed. On Tuesday, police released a video they say shows Harris pulling out a handgun.