Caruthersville police officer killed in crash with O'Fallon fugitive

5:42 PM, Aug 16, 2011   |    comments
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  • Deonta Williamson
  • Caruthersville Officer Evan Burns.(Picture courtesy KFVS)
  • Officer Burns' vehicle.(Picture courtesy KFVS)

Caruthersville, Missouri (KSDK) - A law enforcement officer from the Missouri bootheel was killed early this morning after his patrol car was broadsided by a man running from a police chase initiated by Pemiscot County deputies.

Sheriff Tommy Greenwell tells NewsChannel 5 his officers were preparing to stop a 2002 Cadillac Escalade on southbound Interstate 55 near the Hayti exit around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when the driver of the stolen SUV exited the highway and headed east on Missouri Route 84 towards Caruthersville.

Two Caruthersville Police Officers set up spike strips to halt the incoming suspects vehicle when the suspect collided with the first police car, resulting in minor injuries to Officer Richard Altice.

The suspect then tried to continue his flight and broadside the second patrol car; killing 28-year-old Caruthersville Officer Evan Burns, a two year veteran of the department.  Investigators say Officer Burns was pronounced dead at the crash scene.

Officer Burns was unmarried but is survived by a 1-year-old son.

Pemiscot County deputies then apprehended 29-year-old Deonta Williamson and are holding him without bond pending the application of felony murder charges.

The investigation has now been handed over to the jurisdiction of the Missouri Highway Patrols Division of Drugs and Crime Control.

Williamson was wanted out of O'Fallon, Missouri on charges of first degree assault, arson, and theft of a vehicle, according to the O'Fallon Police Department.

Col. Roy Joachimstaler, O'Fallon's Chief of Police, said the department received a call around 9:35 p.m. Monday about a domestic disturbance at a home in the 2000 block of Williamstown Drive.

Williamson apparently attempted to set his stepfather on fire at the residence and then set another fire in the garage.  The suspect fled in the victim's vehicle, culminating in the crash.  The suspect's stepfather was treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries.

The Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged Williamson with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, first-degree assault, tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest by fleeing.

The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has charged Williamson with first degree assault, armed criminal action, and first degree arson for the incident with his stepfather.

The O'Fallon Police Department will pursue charges against the suspect with the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.


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