MINERAL POINT, MO (KTVI)-Washington County is mourning the death of a young Sheriff's Deputy killed as he tried to help place an unconscious woman in an ambulance early Saturday morning. Sheriff Andy Skiles said 31-year old Christopher Parsons was ambushed by a man who later fled into a wooded area. Skiles identified the unconscious woman as the murder suspect's mother.
The shooting happened on Nuggett Road in Mineral Point, a town east of Potosi in the heart of Washington County at about 2:30 AM Saturday. Authorities called in law enforcement officers from as far away as Howell County to help track the suspect in heavily wooded areas. Just over fourteen hours later, 30 year old Gary Sancegrow was picked up at a road checkpoint east of Potosi.
Sancegrow has been charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action. He is being held without bond.
Parsons had only been a deputy for two months and was still in training. He graduated from the law enforcement academy in May and then worked briefly as a corrections officer. Previously he had worked for the YMCA in Washington County.
But Parsons had already made friendships among his fellow officers. "He was a really good young man. Really liked by his co-workers, Always there to help and really excited to be a law enforcement officer," said Sheriff Skiles.
The sheriff helped to lead a candlelight vigil outside Moore Funeral Home in Potosi Saturday night. Law enforcement officers, their spouses, friends and family attended.
Missouri Highway Patrol PIO Trooper Juston Wheeton said such an attack is totally unexpected. "Never would we suspect something like this. It just goes to show you have to stay active, you have to stay alert and this could happen to anybody," Wheeton said.
Parsons leaves behind his fiancée and her two children. Funeral arrangements were not announced Saturday.
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