Man charged with shooting police officer at Ferguson Walmart


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Fhontez Mitchell

CLAYTON, Mo. - The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has charged a 20-year-old man Wednesday with shooting an off-duty police officer at a Ferguson Walmart.

Fhontez Mitchell was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, tampering with physical evidence, resisting arrest for a felony, and two counts of armed criminal action.

According to the St. Louis County Police Department, the 35-year-old Calverton police officer was working security in the Walmart on West Florissant Avenue and was in full uniform when he approached Mitchell, a suspected shoplifter, shortly after 7:10 p.m. on Sunday, February 16.

Police said Mitchell pulled out a firearm and shot the officer in the arm and twice in his body. The suspect fled in a car.

The 35-year-old officer, who has more than two years of law enforcement experience, was rushed to a local hospital. His injuries were not life-threatening. The officer was wearing a protective vest when he was shot.

On Tuesday, county police observed a vehicle near Canfield Drive in Ferguson that matched the description of the car leaving the scene of the shooting.

According to Sgt. Benjamin Granda, a county police spokesman, officers followed the vehicle and requested additional support in tracking the car.

Officers attempted to pull the suspect vehicle over near Airport and N. Florissant roads but Mitchell sped away. Police pursued the car into a business parking lot in the 8900 block of Jennings Station Road, where Mitchell jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to run away on foot.

Granda said police caught up to Mitchell in the parking lot of the nearby Dollar Tree store and took him into custody.


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