FERGUSON, Mo. — NAACP advocates were urging calm Monday after a rally for a teenager fatally shot by police became a scene of anger and looting.
St. Louis County NAACP will have a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in response to the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown. Ferguson police shot the unarmed teen multiple times Saturday after they say he was involved in a scuffle with an officer and another person in this predominantly black St. Louis suburb.
"It is our hope that this discussion will provide accurate and reliable information to be shared with the community," Esther Haywood, president of the county's NAACP, said in a statement. "Our expectation is to educate the public on the NAACP's strategy toward justice for the Brown family and the community."
Police early Monday used tear gas to disperse a crowd that had gathered a few hours earlier for a candlelight vigil for Brown. More than 300 officers from 19 St. Louis-area departments were called in.
At least one convenience store was looted and set on fire in Ferguson, a city of about 21,000 residents 10 miles northwest of St. Louis. Twelve businesses along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into, including a check-cashing store, a boutique, a small grocery store, a sporting goods store, a cellphone retailer, a tire store and a Walmart. As people carted away goods from several of the stores, police moved in.
"Most came here for a peaceful protest but it takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch," said Deanel Trout, 53, who has lived in Ferguson for 14 years. "I can understand the anger and unrest, but I can't understand the violence and looting."
He thinks the troublemakers largely came from outside Ferguson and that they had used the angst at the vigil as an opportunity to steal.
Thirty-two people were arrested and two officers had minor injuries — one injured a knee, another was struck with a brick, authorities said. One officer was shot at but not injured, nearly a dozen patrol cars were damaged, and someone in the crowd fired shots at a police helicopter but did not hit it, according to St. Louis County Police.
Earlier Sunday, Chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department said the incident started when a Ferguson officer encountered Brown and another male on the street near an apartment complex. One male pushed the officer into his police vehicle, Belmar said.
The men had a struggle inside the car, Belmar said, and at some point a man — it was unclear whether it was Brown — reached for the officer's weapon. One shot was fired inside the vehicle.
The fight moved outside the squad car and Brown suffered fatal gunshot wounds about 35 feet from the vehicle, Belmar said. The second person has not been arrested, and police are not sure whether he was armed.
The NAACP has called for the FBI to investigate the shooting, and the St. Louis County executive also said he would request FBI involvement. The U.S. Department of Justice said Attorney General Eric Holder had instructed staff to monitor developments.
"As a mother, I grieve for this child and his family," Sen. Clare McCaskill said in a statement. "I pray that the wonderful, hardworking, and God-loving people of Ferguson will find peace and patience as we wait for the results of what will be numerous and thorough investigations of what happened."
Investigators found multiple shell casings at the scene. Brown was shot more than once, but an exact number of shots fired has not yet been determined, Belmar said. All the shell casings came from the officer's weapon.
"Our prayers go out to the family and friends of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Mo.," said Cornell Williams Brooks, president of the national NAACP. "The death of yet another African-American at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve the community where he lived is heartbreaking."
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson has asked county police to take over the investigation, Belmar said. Results of the investigation will be turned over to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, which will determine if charges should be filed.
No video footage is available of the shooting from apartment or police cruiser cameras, Jackson said. The department recently bought lapel cameras but haven't begun using them.
"My son just turned 18 and graduated from high school, and he don't bother nobody," Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, said Saturday night. Brown was to start at Vatterott College, a trade school, next week.
She doesn't understand why police didn't use a club or Taser if he presented a problem. She said the officer involved should be fired and prosecuted.
"They told me how many times my son was shot — eight," McSpadden said. He was visiting his grandmother and was returning from the store.
At least 12 businesses were damaged Aug. 10 and early Aug. 11, 2014, as citizens smashed windows and looted stores in Ferguson, Mo. KSDK-TV, St. Louis
The race of the officer involved in the shooting has not been disclosed. He has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Contributing: The Associated Press