Ferguson explodes overnight hours before curfew

After what was another difficult and dangerous night, the chaos unfolded hours before the curfew in Ferguson. (NBCNC)

FERGUSON, Mo. (NBCNC) — The situation in Ferguson, Mo., exploded again overnight. There was more violence and looting in the St. Louis suburb — more than a week after an unarmed teenager was shot and killed by police.

And in the wake of the most recent problems, the governor has decided Monday morning to send in additional troops to help try and end the violence. Early Monday morning, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered National Guard troops to move in. The soldiers are expected to be there later Monday.

After what was another difficult and dangerous night, the chaos unfolded hours before the curfew in Ferguson. With armored vehicles and officers in riot gear rushing in, police used smoke canisters and tear gas to try and gain control of what they describe as a very dangerous situation.

“[We] had no alternative but to elevate the level of our response,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who was tapped last week by the governor to take control of security in the city. “We had shots being fired on officers, Molotov cocktails, and the looting and vandalism.”

Early reports indicate two or three people in the crowd were injured by gunfire. None of those shootings apparently involved police. At least four businesses were damaged and looted, and for the first time, the violence stretched to just outside the police command post.

The call went out to every available officer to rush back to the area, where dozens worked to lock down their compound. Officers were armed with shields, batons and gas masks; others had weapons drawn.

As another night of violence was unfolding, so was a new picture of what happened the day Michael Brown was shot and killed. Attorneys released a sketch from a private autopsy by a doctor hired by the Brown family. It shows the 18-year-old was shot six times – adding to the heartache, frustration and anger for a family and community already seemingly pushed past its limits.

The Brown family and the doctor who performed the autopsy are expected to speak publicly about the results later Monday morning.

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