CHESTERFIELD, Mo. - A St. Louis area man wanted for a series of violent crimes was arrested in a small town in Arkansas thanks to a couple of eagle-eyed St. Louisans. The couple had watched the news in St. Louis Tuesday about a shooting suspect. The next day, they recognized the wanted man and his vehicle in the town of Bald Knob, Arkansas, about 300 miles from here.
"It's very lucky. We're very grateful the stars aligned or however you want to say it," said Sgt. Keith Rider, Chesterfield Police Department.
The stars aligned against 42-year-old Phillip Stroisch overnight. When the St. Louis couple spotted Stroisch and his vehicle at a Bald Knob gas station, they called police and Stroisch led officers on a pursuit that ended not far away in Beebe, Arkansas. He crashed into police cars.
"He decided to take his own life, but he was unsuccessful at that," Sgt. Rider said.
Stroisch shot himself in the face but survived, and was rushed to a Little Rock hospital.
According to police, Stroisch was involved in a shooting that occurred just before 5 a.m. Tuesday in the 14000 block of Forest Crest Drive. Two people were inside the home when the suspect used a handgun and fired several shots into the home. The two people inside suffered non-life threatening injuries. Police said Stroisch had been doing construction work for the people in the home.
Not long before the shooting, police said Stroisch was involved in a domestic situation in south St. Louis County and kidnapped his wife and later released her.
Chesterfield police issued at-large warrants against Stroisch for two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action.
According to Sgt. Shawn McGuire, a spokesman with the St. Louis County Police Department, officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of Susan Road for a domestic violence report involving Stroisch and his wife. She was missing for an unknown period of time, but was later located and brought to a hospital for an examination. She was not seriously injured. Police have classified that time spent missing as a kidnapping.
Police plan to recognize the St. Louis couple who spotted the suspect.
"It's an incredible stroke of luck that someone from St. Louis happened to be in that area at that exact time," Rider said.
Chesterfield cops said the couple not only notified Arkansas police but were also on the phone with detectives in Chesterfield as everything unfolded. The officers in Arkansas were not injured. At last report, Stroisch was said to be in critical condition.