Suspect charged in shooting of two St. Louis area officers

Jason Cook

ST. LOUIS, MO — The man accused of shooting two Bellefontaine Neighbors police officers has been charged with two counts of assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

Jason Cook, 37, is being held on a $150,000 cash-only bond.

Cook is accused of shooting two suburban St. Louis police officers who were saved by their bulletproof vests.  He is hospitalized with a gunshot wound of his own after a lengthy standoff with police.

St. Louis County police say Cook was taken into custody Thursday afternoon, more than seven hours after the initial shooting. Police say he's expected to survive.

Two officers from the town of Bellefontaine Neighbors tried to arrest the man around 7:15 a.m. following a report of gunshots the night before. The officers were shot in their torsos, but the bullets were stopped by their tactical vests. The officers were treated at the hospital and released Thursday.

"These are my friends and coworkers. It's always a concern to your fellow coworkers and your family and it's a dangerous job," said Detective Dave Owens, Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department.

The police department purchased the vests through a Federal Bulletproof Grant Partnership (BVP). It is a 50 percent matching grant through the Department of Justice. The police department's 50 percent came from drug forfeiture funds, not monies from the general fund. The state bid price through Ed Roehr is approximately $615 per vest.

"We do require the officers to wear them while they are  on patrol for obvious reasons," Owens said. "By the grace of God, had they not had those on yesterday, it would have turned out much worse."

After the shooting, the suspect barricaded himself inside a home. Police say that at one point the man opened a door and fired a gun, prompting an officer to return fire.