ST. LOUIS – An off-duty police officer was shot by a by a fellow cop overnight in St. Louis’ North Pointe neighborhood. One suspect was also injured.
The incident began around 10 p.m. when a police license recognition system spotted a car stolen from Maryland Heights last week. Authorities used spike strips to stop the vehicle. Three people in the car fired shot at officers. A short time later, the car stopped at Park Lane and Astra Avenue where additional shots were fired.
One suspect, a 17-year-old male, was shot in the ankle. Two guns were reportedly recovered. A second suspect, who ran a short distance, was taken into custody. He was not injured.
Officials say the off-duty officer, who lives in the area, heard the commotion and came out of his house to assist.
Police on the scene told the off-duty officer to get on the ground and surrender. He complied with their commands. When another officer recognized him and told the others to let him get up, another officer shot him.
The 38-year-old officer was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm. He is listed in good condition. He is an 11 year veteran of the force.
The attorney for the wounded African-American police officer is making strong statements after police investigators say they shot one of their own.
“This is the first time that we are aware, that a black professional, in law enforcement, himself being shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street. This is a real problem,” said attorney Rufus J. Tate Jr.
A 36-year-old white male officer did not recognize the off duty officer. He told city police investigators he feared for his safety. He fired a shot, hitting the off duty officer in the arm.
“In the police report, you have so far, there is no description of threat he received. So we have areal problem with that. But this has been a national discussion for the past two years. There is this perception that a black man is automatically feared,” said attorney Rufus J. Tate Jr.
Tate claims the wounded officer had identified himself and complied with officer`s commands.
A third suspect is still at-large.
It’s unclear if the on-duty officer is on administrative leave.