FERGUSON, Mo. - A 19-year-old man shot by St. Louis County police near Ferguson is in critical condition and faces a felony assault charge after police say he pointed a handgun at an officer.

Esrail Eli Britton was charged with second-degree assault and armed criminal action.

County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the incident began about 1 a.m. Wednesday when officers responded to a report of eight masked men with shotguns. Britton was shot several times, and a gun was recovered at the scene.

Belmar said the shooting appeared justified, though it will be reviewed by police and the county prosecutor. It occurred near where protesters have gathered nightly since the weekend shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. The chief couldn't say if Britton was among the protesters.

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