ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s SWAT team opened fire on an armed suspect Sunday night.
Police said when they arrived on the scene in the 6800 block of Balson Avenue, located in the Ellendale neighborhood, a man had pointed a rifle out the window of the burning home.
“The suspect stuck half his body out the second-floor window, and he was armed with a rifle and pointed at spot officers,” said Lt. John Green with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. “The officers fired at the suspect, striking him, and he fell out the second-floor window. We were able to take him into custody and rush him to the hospital.”
Police said it started as a domestic disturbance around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Officers arrived to find a 41-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man who said the man in their home was having mental health issues. The pair told officers the 31-year-old suspect had threatened the woman with a rifle.
Police said the male victim grabbed an ax in self-defense, and that the suspect ran to the basement and fired a shot through the floor. The victims ran out of the house. The suspect then barricaded himself inside the home.
“I don’t know what kind of issues he was having at the time; the officers immediately called for a 72-50 as our negotiating team and SWAT team responded,” Green said. “We do believe the suspect set the house on fire.”
SWAT and hostage negotiators evacuated residents from nearby homes. It’s unclear if the suspect fired at officers.
The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital with serious injuries from a gunshot wound to the arm and back of the head.