St. Louis officer in serious condition after shooting: Chief

  • DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • In two incidents, a total of four St. Louis City police officers were seriously injured this week.

Louis City Police Chief John Hayden said Wednesday in an emotional press conference that one of the two city officers shot dead today in Ferguson was in unstable critical condition after being shot in the abdomen. A second officer was shot in the leg.

Outside Barnes Jewish Hospital, Hayden, the police chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said he had just visited injured city officers inside. He said the pair were chasing a car “suspected to be involved in a homicide” around 1 p.m. this afternoon.

The pursuit took them from St. Louis to Ferguson. Near the intersection of West Florrisant and Canfield Drive, an occupant (or occupants) of the vehicle opened fire on officers, although Hayden said he did not know whether officers returned fire.

The investigation is being led by the St. Louis County Police Department, Hayden said. All four occupants of the vehicle were arrested, although Hayden referred questions about the details of the incident to St. Louis County.

“We ask the public to pray for our officer,” Hayden said. He called it a “difficult time” for the department and referenced another recent incident, just two days prior, in which two city officers were seriously injured on Interstate 64 when a 21-year-old years drove his Lexus into a police vehicle investigating another crash.

“We just had officers hit by a car the other day,” he said. “Actually, one of them is here, we were coming to visit him at one point.”

He repeated: “This is a difficult time for law enforcement.”

Hayden said both officers were in their twenties. The one who is in serious condition with a bullet in the abdomen has been in the police for three and a half years. The other officer spent two and a half years at the department.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. Email the author at [email protected]

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