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St. Louis officers narrowly avoid serious injury after shootout with suspect

One officer had a graze wound over his eye and has been released from the hospital. Suspect is in custody, and a pistol was recovered.

ST. LOUIS — A robbery call led to shots fired in south St. Louis on Friday evening, then a 26-year-old St. Louis Metro Police officer took a trip to the hospital. 

Police Chief John Hayden and his team are breathing a big sigh of relief that their officer survived a frightening exchange of gunfire in the Gravois Park neighborhood.

The wounded officer went to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in a police cruiser, and he was treated for a graze wound over his right eye. His tactical vest also had ballistic damage.

Hayden, in a news conference outside the emergency department, said the officer's wound wasn't serious.

"When I got here, I saw him smiling, his wife is here, so I was very thankful the officer is OK," Hayden said.

Credit: KSDK
A SLMPD vehicle struck the suspect's gold Chevrolet Impala near Nebraska and Chippewa.

The chief said two officers, on a patrol together, spotted a vehicle in the 3700 block of Nebraska Avenue that was wanted in connection with a robbery. Hayden said the officers tried to pull over the gold 2004 Chevrolet Impala, but the driver sped off.

The suspect's vehicle hit another car near Nebraska at Chippewa, and the suspect immediately got out and began firing repeatedly at the two officers. The officers returned fire, and Hayden said the suspect wasn't hit.

The suspect, 30, was taken into custody, and a pistol was recovered at the scene.

There have been 12 officers shot at since June 2020, and this is the second officer shooting this year.