WATCH ABOVE: Ferguson police have released surveillance footage of Sunday night’s shootout involving an 18-year-old an who was armed with a gun. Weijia Jiang has more.
FERGUSON, Mo. – St. Louis County police have released surveillance video footage they say shows the 18-year-old black suspect who was critically wounded after being shot by police in Ferguson minutes before he fired a gun at plainclothes officers.
Tyrone Harris Jr. was shot late Sunday after police say he opened fire on an unmarked police van.
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Police said a 13-second clip of security camera footage from a West Florissant Avenue insurance office that they released Tuesday afternoon shows him grabbing a handgun from his waistband in response to shots being fired while protests were taking place nearby connected to the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old killed by a white police officer.
READ MORE: 4th night of Ferguson protests brings confrontation, arrests
Harris was in critical condition Monday at a St. Louis hospital. County police and Barnes-Jewish Hospital were unable to provide updates on his condition Tuesday.
Harris’ father disputed the police account Monday but declined to discuss his son’s shooting Tuesday. Tyrone Harris Jr. has been charged with 10 felonies – five counts of armed criminal action, four counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and a firearms charge.
Online court records show that Tyrone Harris Jr. was charged in November with stealing a motor vehicle and a gun, as well as resisting arrest by fleeing. A court hearing in that case is scheduled for Aug. 31.
Armed militia group’s raises concern in Ferguson
WATCH: Heavily-armed vigilante militia add tension to Ferguson streets. Jackson Proskow reports.
The return of an armed militia group patrolling the streets of Ferguson drew criticism Tuesday from both protesters and the county police chief overseeing security amid ongoing demonstrations marking the anniversary of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s shooting death.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the overnight presence of the Oath Keepers, wearing camouflage bulletproof vests and openly carrying rifles and pistols on West Florissant Avenue, the hub of marches and protests for the past several days, was “both unnecessary and inflammatory.”
Belmar plans to ask county prosecutor Bob McCulloch about the legality of armed patrols by the far-right anti-government activist group, which largely comprises past and present members of the military, first responders and police officers. But Missouri law allows anyone with a concealed carry permit to openly display a firearm anywhere in the state.
Heavily armed civilians with a group known as the Oath Keepers arrive in Ferguson, Mo., early Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Heavily armed civilians with a group known as the Oath Keepers arrive in Ferguson, Mo., early Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
John Karriman, a representative of the group who teaches at the Missouri Southern State University police academy, said there were five armed Oath Keepers at the Monday night protests and a considerably larger number of unarmed members stationed nearby to try to help keep the peace. He said members plan to remain in Ferguson “at least through the end of the week.”
“A handful of us were visible,” Karriman, a former police officer in Joplin, Missouri who ran unsuccessfully as a Libertarian Party candidate for county sheriff in southwest Missouri. “The rest of us are behind the scenes.”
Oath Keepers previously showed up in Ferguson in November after a grand jury declined to indict former Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s death, saying they stationed themselves along several downtown rooftops to protect businesses from rioting and looters. Karriman said the group stepped in only after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declined to summon the National Guard in the aftermath of the grand jury decision.
County police ordered them to leave then, but group members intermittently returned. The five armed Oath Keepers, all of whom appeared to be white, interacted freely with police late Monday and early Tuesday but endured catcalls and jeers from demonstrators.
Protest organizer Nabeehah Azeez called the presence of the armed men “a contradiction in how things work.”
“The rules don’t apply to everyone,” she said. “If those were black men walking around with rifles, they probably wouldn’t be living today.”
©2015The Canadian Press