The shooting took place after a demonstration marking the resignation of the Ferguson police chief. Demonstrators told The Guardian that during the delay—amidst which the shooter may have made his or her escape—Ferguson officers aimed their weapons on the unarmed protesters.
"The police knew where it came from, but they still had guns on protesters for a long time after," said Heather De Mian, whose livestreamed footage of the shooting can be seen here. "That was a long 11 minutes," Tony Rice, a protester and resident of Ferguson, said. "Of course it could have allowed the shooter to get away," he said.
According to The Guardian, the officers were shot at 12:07 a.m., and it was not until 12:18 a.m. "that a group of about a dozen officers emerged from police headquarters" and began a search. A spokesman for St. Louis County police, Officer Shawn McGuire, dismissed the idea that the response should have been quicker:
"The first priority of the officers on scene were to take care of the two officers that were shot. To treat them, stop the bleeding, etc," McGuire said in an email.
An estimated 38 other officers were on duty at the station when the two men were shot.
"I was kind of hoping they would get him overnight," Jeff Roorda, a St. Louis Police Officers Association spokesman, told The Guardian. "I worry in a case like this, where a guy has already demonstrated a desire to kill cops, that this thing ends with a shootout or a bad situation."
[Photo credit: AP Images]