ST. LOUIS — Since June 1, at least 11 St. Louis police officers have been shot at during five separate shootings – six officers have been struck by gunfire.
The latest incident involved a 25-year veteran of the force who was sitting inside an unmarked security car working an off-duty assignment shortly before 10 p.m. outside of a U.S. Bank location downtown.
According to a police report, a 14-year-old and 16-year-old have been arrested, with the 14-year-old as the suspected shooter.
The officer was wearing a bullet-resistant vest with the word “Police” written across it in white letters.
It happened exactly two months after the murder of 77-year-old retired St. Louis police Capt. David Dorn, who was shot to death June 2 trying to stop looters from burglarizing a pawn show during riots in downtown St. Louis that followed a protest.
St. Louis Police Officer’s Association President Jay Schroeder said most of the other shootings involving police officers this summer also involved officers who were not engaging with their shooters at the time they came under fire.
“These are targeted attacks,” Schroeder said. “It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
“These people aren’t even engaging with suspects. It’s not like I’m stopping to arrest the guy wanted for crime. A lot of these shootings of policemen are them driving along or doing something else and getting attacked.”
But one of the officers who was shot at was not wearing any police-related clothing at the time he was shot, so Schroeder believes he was likely just going to become another one of the city’s crime victims.
He also noted how homicides in the city are soaring as well.
“It’s unprecedented for regular violence let alone violence against the police,” he said. “We’ve never seen this kind of violence against the police.
“Nobody’s safe in this city right now.”
The other shootings involving police include:
Four officers in uniform were standing near St. Louis police headquarters after a protest when they were shot.
An off-duty officer was sitting in an unmarked security car guarding a Kutis funeral home at about 8 p.m. at 2906 Gravois Road when three teens, believed to be ages 15 and 16 approached him.
He was sitting inside the car in plain clothes when one of the boys pointed a gun at him and told him to get out of his car. He got out, took cover behind his car and fired at the boys with his department-issued gun. The teens returned fire.
The officer, who has 22 years of service, called for backup and responding officers found two of the boys in the area, but the shooter escaped. The officer was not injured, police said, though his vehicle and another vehicle were damaged by gunfire. Police also found a gun in the area.
An officer was shot in the elbow and two others suffered other injuries when a man opened fire with a sawed-off shotgun.
Shortly after 1 a.m. two officers and a sergeant were removing cars from the Crown Mart gas station lot on North 13th Street when police said Peter Webb, 23, opened fire. A fourth officer heard their call for help nearby and started a pursuit. He came under fire, too, before police say Webb rammed a police car and crashed.
Three officers were talking to a driver they had just pulled over for a traffic stop when an unknown person fired several shots in their direction.
Schroeder said morale among city officers is running low, and officers are starting to get tired and worn out after so much violence against them and citizens.
“This is terrible,” Schroeder said. “Our officers are under attack and something has to give.”