A second man has been shot by police in the Missouri city where an unarmed black 18-year-old was shot dead last weekend, according to multiple reports.

Police officials told local reporters that the man was shot in Ferguson by a St Louis County officer after pointing a handgun at him soon after 1am on Wednesday, following fresh demonstrations over the death on Saturday of Michael Brown.

The officer was responding to reports of shots being fired and men wearing ski masks carrying shotguns. The man was in critical condition in hospital, a police spokesman told the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Fox 2 and KMOV, and his gun was recovered at the scene.

A woman was separately being treated in hospital after being shot in the head during a drive-by shooting in the city. The incidents followed the peaceful end earlier to a tense standoff between protesters and police, prompting hopes of avoiding a third night of violence.

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