ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A St. Louis police officer is recovering after getting shot in the leg in north city late Wednesday afternoon, by a convicted felon.
The shooting occurred around 5:30 p.m. in the 5900 block of Lalite.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officer, who was off-duty at the time, was at his sister's home. She asked two guests to leave, and her brother, the off-duty officer, began escorting them out of the home.
"One of the suspects immediately left the house, and as the officer was escorting the second individual out of the house, the first suspect turned and started to fire at the officer without warning without provocation," said Chief Dotson.
The suspect fired at least two shots, striking the off-duty officer once in his right shin.
The officer returned fire 3 or 4 times, but it's unclear if he hit anyone, the officer retreated back inside the home and didn't see which way the suspect fled on foot.
The chief says tactical units responded to the a house across the street after learning the shooter may be inside.
Many neighbors, including children were evacuated from their homes before the tactical team made entry into the home.
Once inside, the officers learned the suspect was not inside.
Chief Dotson says the person they are looking for is from the neighborhood and is known to officers.
"We are continuing our search for him, we know who he is by name, we've identified him he is a convicted felon and he was in possession of a gun, did fire at an officer," says the chief.
He says the suspect did know that he was in a house with police officer, but the officer did not go to the house because this suspect was there, only to visit his sister.
It is unclear if the weapon used by the officer was a department issued weapon.
The officer, a 31-year-old 11-year veteran of the force, is being treated at a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
When Chief Dotson was asked about potential disciplinary action for his officer he said "I'd like to know what he did wrong."