Vigil, vandalism after Missouri police shooting

Protesters blocking Florissant Road raise their hands Sunday after being approached by police officers who asked them to stop blocking the street in front of the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, one day after a Ferguson officer shot and killed Michael Brown.

Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was unarmed when he died, police said Sunday, as hundreds of local residents protested and a civil rights leader expressed outrage at the killing.

Brown had graduated from high school and was about to enter a local college, said his mother, Lesley McSpadden.

Later Sunday, a few thousand people attended a vigil for Brown, while afterward several stores were looted and car windows were smashed.

At the vigil, people placed candles, flowers and a teddy bear at the exact location where Brown was killed. One group of young men broke off to spray paint “R.I.P. Michael” on the street.

Afterward, an Associated Press reporter saw some people looting a convenience store. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into and looted, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the shooting occurred after an officer encountered two people — one of whom was Brown — on the street near an apartment complex in Ferguson.

Belmar said one of the men pushed the officer back into his squad car and a struggle began. Belmar said at least one shot was fired from the officer’s gun inside the police car.

— The Associated Press