Demonstrators set Ferguson ablaze amid grand jury decision
Ferguson, Missouri (CNN) — The announcement of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown was met with chaos Monday night.
While many of the protesters were peaceful, more than 15 gunshots were heard as businesses throughout the city were looted or set ablaze.
The violence marred the wishes of Brown’s parents, who have been pleading for peace.
“This is crazy. I mean, this doesn’t do anything,” one resident told CNN.
She worried about how her city would pick up the pieces.
“They’re not going to rebuild. It’s just going to be a ghost town pretty soon.”
[Breaking news update at 3:04 a.m.]
Twelve shots were fired by Officer Wilson, according to evidence and testimony presented to the grand jury investigating if the death of Michael Brown amounted to a crime. Wilson said two shots were fired during a struggle at his police vehicle and that he then fired three bursts of gunfire as he chased and then backed away from Brown. He testified that his Sig Sauer .40 caliber gun held a maximum of 13 bullets.
Twelve casings were recovered and one bullet remained in the weapon, according to the grand jury documents released Monday night.
[Breaking news update at 2:29 a.m.]
Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered more National Guardsmen to Ferguson. The Guard is providing security at the Ferguson Police Department.
[Breaking news update at 1:14 a.m.]
CNN’s Sara Sidner was struck in the head with a rock as more rocks flew around her. Amid the looting and arson across Ferguson, some protesters demanded the media stop reporting on the events.
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Firefighters responding to a business engulfed in flames left the scene after gunfire rang out, CNN’s Stephanie Elam said. They have not returned.
[Breaking news update at 12:50 a.m.]
Due to reports of gunshots fired into the sky, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a temporary flight restriction over Ferguson, Missouri until 4:15 a.m. Tuesday morning. Only law enforcement aircraft will be allowed to fly in the zone, and media aircraft are flying just above the zone, the FAA said.
[Breaking news update at 12:24 a.m.]
An entire row of businesses are now on fire on West Florissant Avenue, a major street in Ferguson, Missouri. There are so many fires in the city that firefighters haven’t been able to reach all of them, CNN’s Sara Sidner said.
[Breaking news update at 12:12 a.m.]
St. Louis’ main airport has a temporary flight restriction, according to a tweet from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The restriction is for incoming flights, not outgoing, according to the airport message.
“It is affecting just a handful of remaining flights that are due in,” spokesman Jeff Lea told CNN.
[Breaking news update at 11:48 p.m.]
Several more businesses are being looted or set on fire in Ferguson, Missouri. Meanwhile, protesters have shut down Interstate 44. Police officers are now standing in a line across highway lanes.
[Breaking news update at 11:33 p.m.]
A Little Caesars pizza restaurant has been set ablaze as chaos continues to mount throughout Ferguson, Missouri.
“What is so tragic is this is exactly what the parents of Mike Brown did not want,” CNN commentator Van Jones said.
[Breaking news update at 11:23 p.m.]
Officer Darren Wilson told a grand jury that Michael Brown punched him in the face when he drove back to him after identifying him as a possible suspect in a shop theft, according to documents released by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch.
He said he tried to get out of his cruiser, but Brown slammed the door shut twice and hit him with his fist.
“I felt that another of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse,” Wilson said. “… I’ve already taken two to the face and I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.”