FERGUSON, Mo. — The City of Ferguson’s police chief is speaking out against violent crime after a stray bullet from a nearby gun battle hit a man’s car as he drove down Interstate 70 early Sunday morning. Chief Troy Doyle tells FOX 2 this most recent act of reckless violence has him fed up.

“I think now people are starting to recognize that we need police,” Doyle said.  

Doyle took over as Ferguson’s chief of police in April after 30 years with the St. Louis County Police Department, the same agency investigating this incident.

A St. Louis County Police Department spokesperson tells FOX 2 the shooting happened around 5 a.m. Sunday on I-70 near the Lucas and Hunt bridge. They said two cars headed westbound exchanged gunfire. One of those bullets hit a man’s car who was driving eastbound, forcing him to pull over and call police. They said the driver was not injured.  

Another victim in the shooting, an adult male in one of the cars headed westbound, was treated for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Doyle said situations like these can only be avoided if police have the resources to put reckless, repeat offenders behind bars.

“The criminals we’re dealing with now have zero respect for law enforcement,” Doyle said. “People are not stopping for law enforcement anymore. They commit some of the most heinous crimes without even a thought for their victims.”

Chief Doyle said it’s time even more people in the St. Louis area stop blaming police and shift their focus giving police the resources to arrest violent criminals.

Doyle said everywhere he goes he hears support, and the same sentiment.

“Everybody is saying the exact same thing: ‘we are tired of criminal activity’” Doyle explained. “All over the region, not just here in Ferguson. Everybody’s just fed up.”

Doyle acknowledged that the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed hurt the reputation of local law enforcement. But he said nine years later, things have changed, and necessary improvements have been made.

Now, he hopes St. Louis will fully support its law enforcement officials in their efforts to make the area safer.

“I think it’s time now that we start supporting our law enforcement officers to get some of our most dangerous individuals off our streets,” Doyle added.

The St. Louis County Police Department shared the following statement with FOX 2:

At 5:19 AM, on 11/5/2023, St. Louis County police officers from the Central County Precinct responded to a call for service for a stalled vehicle on the exit ramp from Interstate 70 to Jennings Station Road. Arriving officers located a Chevrolet Traverse with an adult male driver and lone occupant. The driver stated he was eastbound on Interstate 70 passing Lucas and Hunt when he heard a loud bang and observed what he believed to be fireworks ahead of him. The driver began having issues with his vehicle and pulled over on the exit ramp. He then observed a bullet hole in the hood of his vehicle. The driver was not injured.

A short time later, an area police agency contacted St. Louis County Police relative to a shooting investigation they were conducting at Barnes Hospital. The victim in this shooting, an adult male, stated he was westbound on Interstate 70 passing Jennings Station Road when a silver Cadillac approached his vehicle from behind. The Cadillac pulled next to him and someone began shooting at him, breaking out his driver’s side window and striking him in the arms. The adult male then fired back at the Cadillac but lost him when he could no longer keep up. The driver of this vehicle was treated for non life threatening injuries.

Preliminary investigation has revealed the Chevrolet Traverse was likely struck during the gunfire exchange between the second victim and the Cadillac. No suspects are currently in custody.