Ferguson Like a War Zone as Residents Urge Peace
Violence continued to escalate in Ferguson, Missouri, overnight, during evening protests. At least two people were shot, 31 arrested, and four police officers injured.
The chaos comes as more people are calling for peaceful protests and church leaders are calling for prayer.
Overnight, the National Guard kept its distance from the street protesters. But Ferguson still looked in some ways like a war zone, with police firing tear gas and demonstrators fighting and throwing molotov cocktails.
Law enforcement is calling for peaceful protests.
"I want to encourage the good people of this area to come out and protest tomorrow during the daytime hours," Capt. Ron Johnson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Make your voices heard when you can be seen and where you're not the cover for violent agitators."
A number of Ferguson residents say while they want to protest the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, they don't support those resorting to violence.
"We are looking for peace and these other guys are just looking for an opportunity to break into another business," a Ferguson resident said.
"We've seen some reports where there are some outsiders coming in and I believe that's where the problem comes, where it lies," Juanita Shaw, another Ferguson resident, said.
Preliminary autopsy results show Michael Brown was shot multiple times during some kind of confrontation with Officer Darrin Wilson.
"At least six shots, maybe more but at least six," the family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, said.
A grand jury could consider what happened in the shooting as early as Wednesday. That will determine whether Officer Wilson is charged.
Some initial reports suggest Brown was facing Wilson with his hands raised while other witnesses say Brown was charging the officer.
For many believers in St. Louis right now, there's hope in the peace of Christ. Pastors are organizing another prayer meeting tonight and working toward reconciliation and forgiveness.
"The first part of reconciliation is getting all the powers that be, all the varying opinions, to the table to talk," resident Aeneas Williams said.
In the meantime, extreme tension remains in the city. Authorities have canceled the start of school, there's a no-fly zone over the area, and the National Guard is there to stay ... for now.