*Authorities in Ferguson, MO, a suburb of St. Louis, have a problem on their hands.
The situation is extremely tense there because a police office in that town shot and killed an unarmed black teenager who was supposed to start attending college on Monday.
The St. Louis County Police Department held a press conference Sunday morning where they stated Mike Brown, 18, was shot “more than just a couple of times” by a 6-year member of the Ferguson Police department, reports KMOV/News 4.
News 4 says witnesses told the station that Brown was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday afternoon. Police have not confirmed those claims and have not released any details of the incident other than an officer was involved and that he has been placed on administrative leave.
Also, Ferguson authorities haven’t revealed what prompted the incident, but have confirmed that it was their officer who fired at Brown. Hundreds of local residents reportedly swarmed the scene, some chanting obscenities at the police.
The presence of that many people led to an increased police presence, according to News 4:
[T]here are at least 100 police cars and numerous officers armed with M-16′s in the area. Stark also says hundreds of people have gathered at the intersection of West Florissant Avenue and Canfield Drive to protest the incident. A large police force from 15 different departments responded, including riot-control officers.
The crowd eventually dissipated around 5 p.m. local time, but the anger is still high on social media, according to Raw Story.
Watch this KMOV/News 4 report:
UPDATE — Sunday, Aug. 10, 12:10 p.m. ET: CNN has more details, including eyewitness account from Brown’s friend:
Dorian Johnson said he was walking with Brown in the middle of the street when a police car pulled up. The officer told the teens to use the sidewalk, according to Johnson.
After an exchange of words, the officer shot Brown even after he raised his hands in the air, Johnson said.
The officer “shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” Johnson told KMOV. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”
The St. Louis County PD, however, disputes the story:
“The genesis of this was a physical confrontation,” Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said at a Sunday news conference.
The officer tried to leave his vehicle just before the shooting on Saturday afternoon, but Brown pushed him back into the car, “where he physically assaulted the police officer” and struggled over the officer’s weapon, Belmar said.
A shot was fired inside the police car, and Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet away from the vehicle, Belmar said, adding few details because he didn’t want to “prejudice” the case.