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In the hours after President Donald Trump threatened to use the U.S. military against Americans, more than half a dozen police officers were shot during protests that continued across the country for the seventh straight night.
The most serious incident happened on the Las Vegas Strip, where a police officer was shot in the head. The officer is currently on life support at University Medical Center Hospital, according to local media reports. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the officer was in a “grave condition.”
A police source told local CBS station KLAS that the officer was trying to take bottles and rocks from protesters and attempting to take some into custody outside the Circus Circus hotel and casino when “a shot rang out and our officer went down,” Lombardo told reporters on Tuesday morning.
The suspect is in custody.
In a separate incident Monday night, officers guarding the federal courthouse, which is also on the Vegas Strip, shot and killed a man. Lombardo told an early morning press conference that his officers encountered a man who was armed with several weapons and what appeared to be body armor.
Lombardo said that during the encounter, the man reached for a firearm. At that point, the officers “engaged,” shooting him multiple times. He was later pronounced dead at UMC Hospital.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak acknowledged that his office had been notified of the incidents.
Las Vegas is one of the dozens of U.S. cities that has seen a violent police response to protesters demonstrating against police brutality in the past week since George Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
In St. Louis, four police officers were shot during Monday night’s protests.
Two of the officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot and one was shot in the arm, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said in an early morning press conference. All were taken to hospital, but none have life-threatening injuries.
The injured officers were dealing with protesters when "some coward randomly shot at the police line," Hayden said, adding that the officers felt a sudden pain, but they didn’t hear shots, the chief said.
“Can we make some sense out of this? Can we make some sense out of this? That’s all I am trying to say. Mr. Floyd’s death is tragic," he said as his voice cracked with emotion.
Meanwhile, in the early hours of Tuesday, two officers and one suspect were shot during a gun fight in Richmond, Virginia.
Just before 1:30 a.m. the Richmond Police Department responded to a report of an armed person on Semmes Avenue in the city’s south side.
The officers were fired upon when they arrived, a spokesperson for the RPD said. In the ensuing crossfire, two officers and one suspect were shot. All were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
One of the officers is in a “serious condition,” local media reported Tuesday, while the other officer and suspect suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
It is unclear if the shootings were linked to protests in the city.
In New York City, a police sergeant was responding to a break-in at a pawn shop just before 1 a.m. on Tuesday when he was struck by a black sedan in a hit-and-run, according to NYPD Detective Adam Navarro.
The sergeant’s condition was described as “serious but stable” by NYPD Lt. Thomas Antonetti, who was speaking to CNN.
The driver fled the scene and no arrests have been made, police said.
Protests against police brutality continued across the country Monday night and into Tuesday morning, with peaceful protests taking place alongside more violent clashes between protesters and police, as well as widespread looting.
Police have been criticized for their heavy-handed response to protesters in recent days, including their forceful removal of protesters in Washington on Monday night before Trump walked out of the White House to a staged photo opportunity outside St. John’s church.
The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, even as Floyd moaned that he couldn’t breathe.
An independent postmortem released Monday declared Floyd’s death a homicide.
Cover: Police stand guard as protesters rally at the Trump Tower, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Las Vegas, over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a black man, died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/John Locher)