FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- A 19-year-old man shot by St. Louis County police near Ferguson is in critical condition and faces a felony assault charge after police say he pointed a handgun at an officer.
Esrail Eli Britton was charged with second-degree assault and armed criminal action.
County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the incident began about 1 a.m. Wednesday when officers responded to a report of eight masked men with shotguns. Britton was shot several times, and a gun was recovered at the scene.
Belmar said the shooting appeared justified, though it will be reviewed by police and the county prosecutor. It occurred near where protesters have gathered nightly since the weekend shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. The chief couldn't say if Britton was among the protesters.
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A 19-year-old is in critical condition after an officer-involved shooting in unincorporated North St. Louis County overnight.
According to police, four men wearing ski masks and armed with shotguns were walking in the area of Chambers and Sheffingdell Court just before 1:00 a.m. Police said they had received numerous calls for shots fired in the area.
When officers arrived on the scene they found around 30 suspects fleeing on foot. Officers confronted the teenager who pulled out a handgun, according to police. Authorities said the officer shot at the man because he was fearful for his life.
Police said the teenage man was shot more than once, but did not give an exact number. Witnesses told News 4 they heard about eight shots being fired during the incident. Authorities later identified the man as Esrail Ely Britton of north St. Louis County. Warrants have been issued against him for assault and armed criminal action.
Per police, the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave.
According to police, the suspect’s handgun was recovered at the scene. The shooting took place down the road from where Rev. Al Sharpton spoke earlier in the night, which is also an area police had been monitoring protests.
No other details were available.