[UPDATED] University City Woman Dead and Police Officer Shot During Home Break-In

Categories: Crime

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Google Maps
The 7400 block of Wayne Avenue near the intersection of North Hanley Road and Midland Boulevard.
A University City woman is dead and a University City police officer is recovering from a gunshot wound following a home break-in last night.

University City police say they received a call around 10 p.m. Monday for a burglary in progress in the 7400 block of Wayne Avenue. The caller told police that the suspect was climbing through a bedroom window and shooting into the home. As officers arrived to the scene, they, too, took on gunfire from inside the house. One of the three officers, a five-year veteran of the force, was shot in the chest.

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After Promises of Advance Notice, Nighttime Release of Grand Jury Decision Stuns St. Louis

Categories: Ferguson

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Bryan Sutter
A police officer patrols Ferguson protests. Check out more photos from Ferguson in our RFT slideshow.
Just 24 hours ago, everybody in St. Louis seemed to know someone getting advance notice of the grand jury's decision regarding the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Law enforcement officers said they'd get 48 hours notice from officials. So did medical workers. Schools promised to give parents several hours of notice so they could get children home safely. The message was clear: There will be time to prepare before the big decision comes down.

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Shaw Protesters March, Peacefully Block I-44 Before Riot Cops, Burglaries Take Over

Categories: Ferguson

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Theo Welling
St. Louis police in riot gear block South Grand Boulevard shortly after protesters shut down Interstate 44. See more photos here.
They gathered in the designated "safe space" -- MoKaBe's, a Tower Grove South coffeehouse that's usually filled with the din of clinking cups and chatting patrons. But when 8 p.m. rolled around last night, an eerie silence descended. For thirteen minutes around 80 people sat captivated by the voice of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, piped in through the shop's sound system.

"The duty of the grand jury is to separate fact from fiction," droned McCulloch. "They accepted and completed this monumental responsibility...they determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer Wilson and returned a no true bill on each of the five indictments."

A few sniffles could be heard. Heads bowed. Hugs, once accepted, lingered as McCulloch began to summarize the evidence -- the "accurate and tragic story of what happened" to Michael Brown, a black eighteen-year-old whose death on August 9 spurred months of protests demanding the arrest of Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed the unarmed teen.

"This is nothing new," interjected Lisa Cagle, an activist and graduate student at Washington University, her voice rising above McCulloch's. "We've already heard all this shit. There is nothing new, nothing surprising. We knew this was probably going to happen. So here's what we're going to do. A lot of you are angry, a lot of you are sad.... So we're going to have four-and-a-half minutes of silence. Because after this moment, we're not silent anymore."


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[VIDEO] "We're Ready to Fight": Ferguson Protesters React with Fury After Grand Jury

Categories: Ferguson

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Theo Welling
Riverfront Times videographer Sadiyya Rice was filming police as they used riot shields to protect themselves from thrown rocks when nearby protesters walked up, demanding to be heard.

Like the other hundreds of protesters who filled West Florissant Avenue Monday night, they were angry. A grand jury had just cleared Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, of any charges after he fatally shot unarmed black teen Michael Brown in a move many demonstrators took to mean that the justice system doesn't value black lives.

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Tear Gas, Shootings, Arson and Looting in Ferguson After No True Bill Announcement

Categories: Ferguson

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Mitch Ryals
What's left of a police car after it was set on fire on South Florissant Road.
Another night of violence, looting and property damage plagued Ferguson last night with the grand jury's announcement that Darren Wilson would not be charged with the killing of Michael Brown.

Although the reaction on South Florissant Road in front of the Ferguson Police Department seemed peaceful at first, the violence many were expecting ultimately prevailed.

The crowd on South Florissant rumbled as protesters in the middle of the street and on the parking lots across from the Ferguson police station heard the news. Almost immediately, a drum beat picked up and people began chanting, "Show them what community looks like. This is what community looks like."

"We already knew what was going to happen," said Byron Conley, 51, of the grand jury's decision. The 24-year Ferguson resident, who lives in the neighborhood overlooking the police department, added that he hoped the protests wouldn't turn violent.

His wish was not granted.

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No Indictment for Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in Fatal Shooting of Michael Brown

Categories: Ferguson

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St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch releases the grand jury decision on Darren Wilson.
Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson will not face criminal charges for fatally shooting unarmed black teen Michael Brown in August.
The grand jury investigating Wilson's case voted Monday to issue a "no true bill," a legal term meaning there's not enough evidence to indict a defendant.

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch plans to release most of the evidence and testimony heard behind closed doors by the grand jury. That information includes testimony transcribed by a court reporter, selected photographs, video/audio recordings and other reports, according to court documents; it doesn't include autopsy photos or the names of grand jurors.

Note: Riverfront Times will update this story with details from our reporter at McCulloch's press conference in Clayton. Check back.

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Grand Jury Decision on Darren Wilson Investigation To Be Released Monday

Categories: Ferguson

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Jessica Lussenhop
The Buzz Westfall Justice Center in downtown Clayton.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch will announce the results of the grand jury's investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown Monday.

The prosecutor's office released this terse statement Monday afternoon: "The Grand Jury hearing the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson investigation has reached a decision and it will be announced later today."

Update: The grand jury decision will come down at 8 p.m. tonight. From the prosecutor's office: "The Grand Jury announcement concerning the Darren Wilson case will be at 8:00 P.M. this evening at the Justice Center, 100 S. Central, Clayton, Mo. All seats have been accounted for and no one else will be allowed in the building."

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Chris Schaefer, Livestreamer Beaten at Ferguson Activist Meeting, Speaks Out

Categories: Ferguson

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Courtesy of Chris Schaefer
Chris Schaefer, photographed during his hospital stay after an alleged beating by fellow Ferguson activists.
Chris Schaefer says he's still hurting.

"I'm still recovering, still been sleeping a lot. I've had a hard time breathing," says the 24-year-old University of Missouri-St. Louis student, his voice wheezing over the phone. Schaefer's face and bandaged, bloody hands made headlines earlier this month after he was allegedly beaten during a November 6 planning meeting for Ferguson activists held at the Greater St. Mark Missionary Church.

After getting out of the hospital about a week ago, Schaefer reached out to Daily RFT through his attorney, saying he wanted to set the record straight on the beating and on what he'd witnessed on the streets during his brief career as a livestreamer.

"The truth is that I was robbed in the church, assaulted inside the church and assaulted right outside the church," he says.

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Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Got Married Last Month: NYT

Categories: Ferguson

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Theo Welling
As protesters demand Darren Wilson's indictment, details of his life post-Ferguson are starting to emerge.
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot Ferguson teen Michael Brown, has tied the knot.

According to The New York Times, Wilson, 28, and Barbara Spradling, 37, who is also an officer with the Ferguson Police Department, officially married on October 24.

Wilson and his bride could have obtained their marriage license in a faraway county or state. (Las Vegas, anyone?) Instead, the couple brazenly chose to apply in downtown Clayton, across the street from where a grand jury has been deliberating on whether to charge Wilson with a crime for Brown's death.

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For Michael Brown Sr., Weekend Brings a Baptism Instead of a Grand Jury Decision

Categories: Michael Brown

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Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown Sr. emerges from the baptism pool.

Michael Brown Sr. pulled his SUV into the parking lot of a tiny white clapboard church in Jennings on Sunday, accompanied by his wife, Cal, and their children. Once inside West Calvary Mission Baptist Church, he disappeared into the men's room on the left-hand side of the foyer while Cal ducked into the ladies' room on the right. When she emerged into the humid sanctuary, Cal had changed out of her dress and kitten heels and into a large T-shirt with a photo of her slain eighteen-year-old stepson Michael Brown Jr. across the front. Michael Sr. wore shorts and a sleeveless undershirt which revealed a tattoo of Michael Jr. on his right shoulder.

They'd come to be baptized. It was a family event, planned months ago. Michael Jr. was supposed to be there, too.

Instead -- as the world knows well -- Michael Jr. was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. A grand jury's decision on whether or not to indict Wilson in the killing was rumored to be coming out this weekend -- in fact, at about the same time that the Brown family was scheduled to ascend the dais and be dipped, one by one, in the warm baptismal pool.

But when the grand jury adjourned Friday without making a decision, the Browns were able to go ahead with their long-delayed plans.

"It's just been so much stuff going on, we haven't had a chance to do it," said Michael Sr. "After all the stuff that's been happening, we have to keep doing positive things...it's just something we needed to do for our family."

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