ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A St. Louis County police officer shot a suspect during an exchange of gunfire after a police pursuit Tuesday morning. He and two others had fled to the county from St. Louis after shooting at a marked police vehicle, police said.
At around 2:30 a.m., marked patrol units from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department responded to looting in the area of Natural Bridge Avenue and Union Road, said St. Louis County Police Department Spokesperson Ben Granda said during a Tuesday press conference.
When they arrived, a maroon Chevy Impala began shooting at a marked police vehicle. St. Louis police pursued the car up Interstate 70 to Goodfellow Avenue and into Jennings, at which point St. Louis County Police vehicles joined in the pursuit.
The pursuit ended in a dead-end on the 7300 block of Esterbrook Drive in Jennings.
“I believe the suspects when they entered the dead-end didn’t know it," police said.
Three people got out of the car and started running toward a wooded area, and one of the suspects, a 21-year-old man, fired shots at St. Louis County officers, police said.
The suspect was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. No officers were injured, police said.
A 25-year-old suspect was arrested at the scene and the third suspect was able to escape. Police were searching the wooded area Tuesday morning.
Two guns were recovered at the scene.
The officer who shot the suspect is 39 years old with 5 years of law-enforcement experience.
"The incredible levels of violence that we saw last night are remarkable and should be unsettling to everyone that calls this place home," Granda said.
“The fact that we’ve lost no lives is remarkable, and I don’t know that we can withstand another night like this without any loss of life. Hopefully this suspect lives. Hopefully. The fact that we’ve got no policemen dead is incredible.”
The St. Louis County Police Department's Bureau of Crimes Against Persons is conducting an investigation.
In an unrelated incident, four St. Louis officers were shot overnight during riots over the death of George Floyd. They were all taken to the hospital and expected to survive, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said.
“I believe some coward randomly shot at the police line,” Chief Hayden told reporters outside a hospital at around 2 a.m.
The officers were standing off to the side of the police line when they suddenly felt pain. Two of the officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot and the fourth was shot in the arm.
“Thankfully, thank God they’re alive. Can we make some sense out of this? That’s all I’m trying to say," Hayden said.