ST. LOUIS – It is an experience Kelli Lowe knows all too well.
“There was the phone call and then the famous knock at the door,” she said.
Lowe’s husband, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Charles Lowe, was shot in the Central West End in 2015. He was able to recover quickly and return to work.
Lowe said she remembers how urgent and scary that night felt, which is probably how the families of the two officers who were shot Thursday evening felt as well.
The two officers, ages 38 and 24, were shot in Soulard shortly after 10 p.m. SLMPD Chief Robert Tracy said the officers were trying to pull over a Ford F-150 truck that was believed to have been used in a robbery. A short police chase started, and the F-150 crashed at the Soulard Market’s courtyard at 9th and Lafayette streets.
Tracy said the suspect got out of the truck and fired shots at the officers as they were getting out of their patrol vehicle. Both officers were shot in the torso.
The suspect was struck and taken into custody.
Lowe said she immediately rushed to the two hospitals where the officers were transported.
“As spouses of officers, this is why it’s so important for us to have support systems and to have people to help each other out,” she said.
The younger officer had been on the force for two years.
“In talking with his fiancée, has a very wonderful fiancée; she was on her game last night,” Lowe said. “His mom and dad, very much there…surrounded by all of us, I think he’s going to be alright. He has a very strong family system. The other officer clearly been on the force, so he knows, he knows.”
Lowe was referring to an incident from more than a decade ago, when the older officer had been critically shot in the line of duty and needed extensive surgery and rehabilitation.
Lowe, who is now the president of the National Police Wives Association, said she is grateful both officers are expected to be ok, and that the suspect is in custody.
Tracy said the incident underscores the reality of the danger officers face.
“It hurts me to the core to what they do each and every day, that I’ve done in three different cities,” he said. “To see what these officers go through and the brave work they do each and every day. St. Louisans should be proud of what these officers are doing to keep our city safe.”