Quick answers to double shooting elude police in Ferguson, Missouri

Quick answers to double shooting elude police in Ferguson, Missouri
A member of a St. Louis County investigative team speaks with a resident living in the neighborhood near the Ferguson Police Department, in Ferguson, Missouri March 12, 2015.

FERGUSON, Mo. - Nearly 48 hours after two officers were shot in Ferguson, Missouri, investigators had dozens of leads but no arrests to report on Friday in the hunt for a gunman who turned a late-night protest against police into bedlam.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said authorities had "a pretty good idea" where the gunshots that wounded the officers had originated, without providing specifics, but added that an arrest was not imminent.

The kind of gun used, the shooter's motivation and any connection to the protesters remained a mystery, prolonging uncertainty for a town that has come to symbolize America's struggle with race and policing.

The latest bout of violence in the St. Louis suburb, first rattled by the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white officer last summer, brought out signs of sympathy for police on Friday.

One protester stood opposite the Ferguson police department with a sign reading "Cops Lives Matter," playing on the "Black Lives Matter" slogan that sprang up in the wake of police killings of unarmed black men in New York City and elsewhere.

Belmar said donations for rewards to help the investigation had poured in over the last two days.

The desire of some to move on from months of racial strife and protests played out in a chilly evening rain in front of the police department on Friday, where a dozen mostly white residents stood holding signs reading "I [heart] Ferguson".

"Obviously we have a lot of changes to make, but we're very resilient and committed to do what's right," said Susan Ankenbrand, 72, a tour guide in St Louis and Ferguson resident for 40 years.

"But we want to put another face on our community."

Though others, like The Organisation for Black Struggle Executive Director Montague Simmons, are determined to continue the near-daily demonstrations.

"Some people are sick of it, sure," Simmons said. "At the same time, others want us because of the change we bring."

To that end, five residents signed an affidavit at Ferguson City Hall Friday afternoon to start a petition for Mayor James Knowles' recall, according to a statement from The Organisation for Black Struggle.

Residents will have 60 days to gather signatures from 15 per cent of registered voters in the last mayoral election to prompt a special election, the statement said.

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