Last night, I received the telephone call that no Police Chief ever wants to answer. Two officers had been shot and were being transported to the hospital for treatment.
One officer, a 31- year old female, with 6.5 years of service, was shot in the foot. She was treated and released from the hospital. The other officer, a 26-year old male who has been on the force 2 years, was shot in the upper thigh. He was admitted to the hospital overnight for observation and is expected to be released later today.
The officers were doing the job that we ask them to do daily, when they encountered a 44-year old armed male suspect, who had no regard for their lives.
It happened around 10:45 p.m., when the officers responded to the 900 block of Elias for a panic alarm sounding inside a residence. Upon arrival, the officers walked towards the rear of the residence, when the suspect emerged from the basement door and without uttering a word, fired several shots at the officers.
The officers returned fire, striking the suspect multiple times. The suspect was conveyed to a local hospital where he is listed in critical/stable condition. A loaded semi-automatic handgun was recovered as were narcotics packaged for sale.
My first thoughts were concerns for the officers and their families. Are the officers going to be ok? What would I say to officers?
Upon learning of their conditions, I was extremely grateful that the injuries sustained were not life-threatening. The officers were in good spirits, and I reassured them that without a doubt, their training, intuition and quick thinking saved their lives. I am confident that these officers will recover and will be back on the streets of St. Louis protecting our citizens.