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UPDATE: Ferguson officer shot in arm while interrupting burglary

A Ferguson, Mo., police officer was shot in the arm Saturday night, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters. Authorities are still searching for the shooter, Reuters reports.

The shooting incident happened when the officer was chasing a suspect outside the Ferguson Community Center, St. Louis County Police Sergeant Brian Schellman said.

The officer returned fire, but did not hit the suspect, who then ran into a wooded area nearby, Schellman said.

Initially, police thought there were two suspects, but detectives later determined there was only one, Reuters reported.

Despite conflicting reports regarding the gender of the officer, Belmar confirmed the officer was male and was shot when he interrupted a burglary in progress.

Previously, Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, had said the officer shot is female. The PBS NewsHour confirmed through the Devin James Group, the PR firm representing the Ferguson Police Department, that the officer is male.

A few hours later an off-duty St. Louis City cop was shot and sustained minor injuries while traveling in a personal vehicle on Interstate 70.

Police were trying to determine whether the I-70 shooting was random of if assailants targeted the off-duty officer.

Belmar also said he believes Saturday’s incident is unrelated to the ongoing protests over the death of Michael Brown because the shooting did not happen within proximity of the protesters. Belmar did not reveal the identity of the officer. When asked about a rumored second shooting involving a younger male circulated on Twitter, Belmar said, at this time, he had no knowledge of another shooting.

Antonio French took a Vine of Captain Ron Johnson telling the crowd that a police officer was shot, and that the officer was the only shooting victim. 

Follow the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for further updates.

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