O’FALLON, Mo. – Police in St. Charles County fatally wounded one man Sunday morning and arrested another person following a brief car chase.
Officers with the O’Fallon Police Department were called to a home near the intersection of Mexico Road and Prentice Drive just before 11 a.m. after homeowners Ted Pech and his wife reported a suspicious vehicle sitting outside of their home.
“My wife noticed a car was sitting out here this morning but we didn’t think much of it,” Pech said. “About 10:30 a.m. I came out and noticed the car was running.”
Not only was the engine running, but Pech said the vehicle was damaged and had no license plates.
Police arrived to find what appeared to be two people sleeping in the car.
According to Sgt. Tony Michalka, an O’Fallon Police spokesman, an officer approached the vehicle and knocked on the window, startling the passengers inside. That officer noticed a handgun near the driver.
An officer at the scene initially claimed one of the individuals in the car reached for a gun while the driver put the vehicle in reverse and rammed into a police vehicle, and that there was an exchange of gunfire as the suspects sped off on Mexico Road.
“They went into reverse and then they went forward. There was gunfire,” Pech said.
However, the official police statement from Sgt. Michalka makes no mention of shots being exchanged.
Michalka said the chase ended a short time later near the intersection of Mexico Road and Aspen Pointe Drive. Officers discovered the driver had been shot. The passenger was not injured and taken into custody.
Sara Brewner witnesses the conclusion of the pursuit and said police attempted to keep the driver alive before the ambulance arrived.
“I do know there was a bunch of (officers) around him trying to do CPR on him,” she said.
O’Fallon Police recovered the handgun spotted in the vehicle. They also learned the vehicle had been reported stolen in St. Louis County.
“We’ve been here for 30 years and nothing close like this has ever happened,” Pech said.
Meanwhile, the St. Charles County Police Department has taken over the investigation. Sgt. Michalka said this is is to ensure a fair, transparent investigation can occur for all parties involved.