Off-duty police officer shot in north St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Wednesday night an off-duty St. Louis police officer was shot in the arm while trying to assist fellow officers involved in a shootout with suspected car thieves. The shooting happened on the city’s northside near West Florissant Avenue and Riverview Boulevard.

Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said the events started with a stolen vehicle from Maryland Heights that was picked-up by one of police cameras in downtown St. Louis around 10 pm.  Officers started following the vehicle and used spike strips to disable the car near West Florissant Avenue.  The occupants in the car started firing at the officers who backed off.

When the vehicle stopped a short time later, 3 suspects in the car fired again at the officers.  In the exchange of gun fire one suspect was shot in the ankle, and one was captured fleeing the scene.  A third suspect is still at-large.

Police say two weapons were recovered at the scene.

The injured suspect was transport to hospital for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury.

The off-duty police officer is 38-year-old with 11-years on the force.

Chief O’Toole said the officer lived in the area and was armed with a weapon, but did not fire his handgun.

The officer was transported to the hospital in stable condition.

Both suspects, age 17, are in police custody.

The shooting is under investigation by the Force Investigation Unit.