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5 police officers shot during riots in Las Vegas, St. Louis

Police car lights. (Alexandru Cuznetov/Dreamstime/TNS)
June 02, 2020

Four police officers in St. Louis, Mo. were struck by gunfire and an officer in Las Vegas, Nev. was shot in the back of the head during rioting Monday night.

The four St. Louis officers were shot near 16th and Olive streets where officers had formed a line to block protesters. All four officers were conscious and facing non-life threatening injuries, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said in a press statement.

Hayden said two officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot and the fourth was shot in the arm. He said the incident occurred as police were responding to a group of around 200 people looting and throwing fireworks and trying to pour gas on officers.

“I believe some coward randomly shot at the police line, and now we have four in the hospital, but thankfully they’re alive, they’re alive,” Hayden said before breaking down into tears. “Can we make some sense out of this? Can we make some sense out of this? That’s all I’m trying to say. Mr. [George] Floyd’s death is tragic, but can we make something out of these kids come down here and just start . . . it’s crazy.”

Hayden said he was concerned with the circumstances of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but expressed confusion at the rioting that had spread to other cities following the incident.

Las Vegas was another city hit by rioting a week after demonstrations began following Floyd’s death.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in a 3 a.m. press conference Tuesday that police were responding to protests outside the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino when members of the gathered crowd began throwing bottles and rocks at officers. Officers began to take some people into custody when a shooting incident occurred, 8News Now reported.

While an officer was in a struggle with a protester, another person shot the officer in the back of the head, a Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) official told 8News Now. The officer was reportedly hospitalized, and on life support at a local hospital. A suspect was reportedly taken into custody around 2 a.m.

“This is a sad night for our LVMPD family and a tragic night for our community,” Lombardo said during his press remarks.

In another incident in Las Vegas saw LVMPD officers encountered a man with multiple firearms and wearing body armor. During the encounter, the suspect reportedly reached for a firearm and police fired on him. The suspect was transported to a nearby trauma center and pronounced dead.