ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A deadly ending to a near 29-hour stand-off at a north county home between an armed individual and police.
This all started around 8:15 a.m. Thursday when U.S. Marshals came to the 14800 block of Frais Drive to arrest a man on felony drug charges.
“That is the longest standoff any of us can remember,” said Sergeant Benjamin Granda, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department.
The situation ended after a St. Louis County police officer shot the suspect early Friday afternoon.
Cami Seeram was five doors down during the entire ordeal. She and her family were basically on lockdown.
“It was tense because we didn’t know when we were going to be able to leave the house, we didn’t know when we were going to be able to get on with our lives, as far as what we had to do,” she said.
Elaine Sampson, who lives nearby, was stunned to hear gunshots in her neighborhood.
“Gunfire. My goodness. You know, you hear about that in other people’s neighborhoods, in other states, but it’s happening here,” she said.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said 42-year-old Eric Phillips struck two armored vehicles, one robot, and homes as he fired at officers.
Phillips would not surrender, Belmar said. Instead, he shot at the marshals, who then returned fire.
Then the standoff began.
Belmar said county police tried everything to end the standoff peacefully, making 174 calls into the home to try and negotiate with Phillips.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Belmar said multiple shots were fired at law enforcement during the standoff.
“We really employed a tremendous amount of tactics on this, whether that’s tear gas or other disruptive devices, just to try to get this individual to cooperate with us. He would not and ultimately that’s his decision to make,” Belmar said.
The chief said a county officer shot Phillips around 1:10 p.m. after he kept firing rounds from his home. The officer who returned fire is a 31-year-old man with five years of law enforcement experience.
The suspect’s loved ones were also at the scene.
Seeram was saddened by the whole incident.
“The thing is it’s sad that somebody lost their life. You know, that’s the bottom line for me,” she said.
Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene. He had two gunshot wounds. One was county police. Chief Belmar wouldn’t confirm if the other bullet wound was self-inflicted nor would he indicate which shot killed him.
Police said an assault rifle and handgun were recovered from the home.
No officers or residents were hurt, including a female relative of the suspect who was able to run out of the home during the standoff.