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Officer shot in the head in Las Vegas, another shot in St. Louis amid unrest

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Police officers have been shot in Las Vegas and St. Louis as protests against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned violent overnight.

The Las Vegas officer was shot in the area of the Las Vegas Strip. Meanwhile, another officer was involved in a shooting in the downtown area, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

“Our officers were attempting to take rocks and bottles from the crowd,” said Lombardo during the press conference. “Officers were attempting to get some of the protesters in custody when a shot rang out and our officer went down.”

The suspect in that shooting has been taken into custody but Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the police officer who was shot is in “extremely critical condition and on life support currently.”

Police in Las Vegas said Monday that 338 people were arrested during three nights of protests. Police said suspects were jailed despite a local court policy calling for most people accused of misdemeanors to receive court summons to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In St. Louis, police say four officers were hit by gunfire after protests in St. Louis that started peacefully Monday became violent, with demonstrators smashing windows and stealing items from businesses and fires burning in the downtown area.

The police department tweeted early Tuesday that the officers were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. It was unclear who had fired the shots.

The chaos in St. Louis followed continued protests over the death of George Floyd and police treatment of African Americans.

On Monday afternoon, several hundred people rallied peacefully outside the justice center in downtown St. Louis, including Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards. Protestors later walked to the Gateway Arch National Park and then onto nearby Interstate 64.

But later Monday, protesters gathered in front of police headquarters, where officers fired tear gas. Some protesters smashed windows at a downtown 7-11 store and stole items from inside before the building was set on fire.

Protesters have been rallying for days across the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man seen on video pleading that he couldn’t breathe while a white police officer pressing his knee into his neck for several minutes before he stopped moving.

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©2020 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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