Freddy Gray echo: Three shot amid protests in Ferguson, Mo. (+video)
Ferguson police say that three people were shot during protests that began Tuesday evening in support of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
Ferguson, Mo. — Looting, fires and gunfire broke out in Ferguson overnight during protests in response to the death of a black man in police custody in Baltimore.
Ferguson Police Department spokesman Jeff Small says three people were shot during protests that began around 8 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Canfield Drive and West Florissant Avenue. That same area was the site of numerous protests following the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, by a white Ferguson police officer in August.
Two victims were shot in the neck, and one in the leg; all three were in stable condition on Wednesday. A 20-year-old man was arrested for the shot that caused the leg wound.
Meanwhile, five people were arrested for looting at a Mobil station in nearby Dellwood. It was the third time since August that it has been targeted by looters.
The protests were more subdued Tuesday evening in Baltimore, where a curfew was imposed after rioting shook the city Monday following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody.
Small said up to 300 people participated in Ferguson protests that lasted until about 3 a.m. Four police cars were damaged when they were pelted by rocks and chunks of asphalt thrown by demonstrators, Small said. No officers were hurt.
Trash cans and a portable toilet were set on fire in the middle of West Florissant, Small said, as well as trash and debris. There were no reports of damage to any businesses in Ferguson.
Tensions have remained high in the St. Louis region since Brown's death and since the St. Louis County grand jury and the U.S. Justice Department declined to prosecute officer Darren Wilson, who resigned from the police force in November.
On Monday, several protesters gathered in north St. Louis after police shot a suspect during a stolen car investigation. Police Chief Sam Dotson said 41-year-old Alfred Graves threatened to kill an officer before firing shots at police in an alleyway. At least three officers returned fire, and Graves was struck in the face, leg and arm. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
In a related story, a parolee admitted in court Wednesday that he helped steal assault-style rifles and other firearms in November from a store during what investigators say was his plot to sell them to protesters in Ferguson.
Dakota Moss, 19, of Centralia, Ill., pleaded guilty in East St. Louis to stealing firearms from a federal licensee, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by violence, carrying a firearm during a violent crime, possession of stolen firearms and being a felon with a firearm, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He faces up to two decades in prison.
Authorities say Moss played a role in stealing the more than three dozen firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition during a November burglary of a farm-and-home supply store in Centralia, about 60 miles east of St. Louis.
The break-in came five days after sometimes-violent protests resurfaced in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of black, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Most of the stolen weapons were recovered, police said
Moss and an alleged 17-year-old accomplice were arrested separately after the burglary. A federal investigator said Moss said in a videotaped statement that "they were going to go to war just for the hell of it, but that the plan did not materialize."
Clint County State's Attorney John Hudspeth said the case against Moss' alleged accomplice has been "resolved" and he is in state custody.
Moss' sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 31.