Florissant Police Officer Shot Twice; Search For Shooter Ended

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FLORISSANT, MO (KTVI) - Dozens of police officers were on the scene all morning in Florissant, Missouri where police officer Mike Vernon, 33, was shot twice around 3:00am while police were responding to a burglary call near Lindbergh and Cougar.

One person was in custody, but police continued to search for a second man they suspected of shooting the officer.  They announced around 10:30am that the man in custody was the suspect and ended the search.

It all started when police say officers responded to a burglary call and heard someone in the backyard jumping over fences.  Vernon responded to the area to canvass the area.  The officers at the burglary call discovered items missing from the home.  Vernon, who was canvassing the area, came around a business in the area and encountered the suspect.

Police say at least three shots were fired and Vernon was shot twice, once in the shoulder, once in the side.  He was wearing his bulletproof vest.

Vernon was able to give a description of the suspect as a black male around six feet tall, with dreadlocks, wearing a white t-shirt with blue jeans.  The man in custody matched this description.

Officers from multiple agencies responded to the area and searched for what they believed was a the shooting suspect.  Dozens of police gathered in the parking lot of Cross Keys Middle School and are used the parking lots for staging in the search.

Police surrounded the neighborhood around the shooting and had it cordoned off. They asked residents to remain in their homes during the search.  The police helicopter flew over the area for several hours and even used heat-sensing technology in a wooded area.

Vernon is in the hospital in critical condition and in surgery.  The Florissant Police Department says Vernon has been with the department about three and a half years and is a military reservist who has served two tours in Iraq while working for the Florissant police.