WENTZVILLE, Mo. – A 15-year veteran officer of the St. Charles County Police Department shot and killed a man during a traffic stop early Thursday morning in Wentzville, as well as recovered more than 100 lbs of marijuana.
Chief of Police for the St. Charles County Police Department Kurt Frisz said two officers in separate squad cars were watching for traffic violations on eastbound 70, just west of the Wentzville Parkway. The officers saw a Ford Expedition that was speeding and then they “initiated a traffic stop” just after 2 a.m.
Frisz said the car was “very slow to stop.” The SUV got off at Wentzville Parkway and stopped at the BP gas station in the 15000 block of Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Frisz said there were two men and one woman inside of the pulled-over SUV. One officer then approached the passenger side of the SUV. As the officer was approaching, 22-year-old Johan Quintero got out of the SUV’s rear passenger seat and reached for his waistband to get a firearm. The officer then attempted to disarm the man.
“That struggle wasn’t going well for the officer,” Frisz said. “He disengaged, pulled his firearm, and was able to neutralize the suspect.”
Police said officers immediately gave the man medical attention until emergency medical personnel arrived, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other two people in the car complied with law enforcement and were taken into custody. Two out of the three occupants of the SUV have extensive criminal records, including arrests for murder and attempted murder. All of them are from Greenville, South Carolina.
They will face state and federal charges.
“There’s no doubt that this individual intended to shoot our police officer,” Frisz said.
Frisz said the department is working to secure a search warrant for the SUV with Florida plates. It is currently in the department’s custody.
Police recovered approximately 160 lbs of marijuana from the vehicle, all individually packaged for resale. The approximate street value would be somewhere around $350,000. There were also two guns recovered from the scene.
St. Charles County officers do not yet have body cams. Frisz said the department will go live with their body cams next month, but they did secure footage of the incident from the gas station.
Frisz said the department believes the suspects were traveling from the west coast to the east coast.
“There are some conflicting statements from the two other individuals,” Frisz said. “So our detectives are working through that right now.”
He said the department doesn’t believe the suspects had any intent to stop in the St. Louis area.
No officers were hurt during this incident.
FOX 2’s Nissan Rogue Runner reporter Jason Maxwell was at the scene.