Witness recounts police shooting near West County Center

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DES PERES, MO (KTVI) - There was another police involved shooting Wednesday, this one in Des Peres near West County Mall in the middle of a busy afternoon.

Police had two male suspects in custody, one of them hospitalized, pending charges Wednesday night.

“I was like, ‘oh my God that’s gunshots’,” a witness said.

She was just stopping for lunch when a shooting scene materialized around her around 1:40 in the afternoon.

Police responded to a reported shoplifting at the T.J. Maxx store not far from the Des Peres Police Department.

The suspects left in a black Dodge Charger, police said.

Police blocked the parking lot exits, trying to get the driver to stop.

“The charger turned to the right, jumped the curb, drove up on the sidewalk, onto the grass, directly toward the sergeant who was on the scene, at which time the sergeant fired 2 shots at the car, thinking his life was in jeopardy,” said Des Peres Police Chief, Keith Krumm.

“You could hear them (officers) yelling ‘stop, stop, stop’ … probably 15-20 feet away .. Then I head ‘pop, pop’,” a witness said.  “It looked like the car pulled around the police vehicle.  I guess it kind of pulled up around on the curb.”

“The officer was actually up on the sidewalk.  When the car jumped the curb and went up onto the sidewalk, he backed up into the grass and the bushes to avoid being hit,” Krumm said.

The suspects ran a red light and sped away westbound on Manchester with police in pursuit, a witness said.

Clothes found on the road were apparently related to the shoplifting.

A witness reported someone trying to stuff a blue bag into a storm sewer, police said.

The suspects stopped near directly across from West County Mall in front of the Edward Jones building with visions of Ferguson flashing in witnesses’ minds.

“I’m like, ‘oh no, this isn’t happening here’… what’s going on around here nowadays?

What’s happening to our town?” a witness lamented.

There was word on whether the suspects had guns.

The police sergeant was the only one who fired shots, police said.

Krumm said the shooting appeared to be justified but St. Louis County Police had taken over the investigation.

The wounded suspect was shot in the arm; his injury not serious, police said.

There were no other injuries.

FOX 2 traced the car to an address in St. Louis.  A woman there said the driver was not the owner but had permission to use the car.

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