ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis police officer was shot and two others were injured when a man opened fire overnight in north St. Louis, a source tells 5 On Your Side's Christine Byers.
Peter Webb, 23, of Springfield has been charged with three counts of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, three counts of armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, two officers and a sergeant with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department were trying to remove cruising cars from the Crown Mart gas station lot on N. 13th Street when police say a man drove past them and fired at them with a sawed-off shotgun.
"This shows the brazen of nature of it, but it also shows what we're up against in these times," St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said.
Hayden told 5 On Your Side's Sara Machi that the officers originally thought they heard fireworks and didn't realize they were being shot at until their back passenger window shattered.
Another sergeant who was nearby witnessed the events and a pursuit began. The man continued to fire shots at the officers multiple times, which struck their vehicle and narrowly missed the officers, police said. At some point during the incident, a 24-year-old officer was shot in his elbow.
The chase ended at S. 14th Street and Chouteau Avenue, where Hayden said the suspect pulled a U-turn. He rammed the broadside of the marked police car belonging to a sergeant and then crashed his vehicle into a traffic light.
The suspect was out of ammunition and tried to run away, but was taken into custody by the officer who had been shot and another officer, who were assisted by other officers arriving at the scene. A sawed-off shotgun was recovered from the suspect's car.
A 00 buck shotgun pellet was removed from the wounded officer's arm. Another suffered a knee injury while arresting the suspect. They were both treated at an area hospital and released.
The sergeant whose car was rammed suffered a head injury and refused treatment at the scene.
One police vehicle suffered heavy ballistic damage. Another was damaged in the crash and was towed from the scene.
Hayden said that at this point it seems to have been a random attack on officers, and it doesn't appear the suspect was involved with the cruising vehicles.
"Thank you to the brave men and women of @SLMPD who serve our community under extraordinarily difficult circumstances," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a Tweet. "Praying for a full recovery for our injured officers."
Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, said in a Sunday afternoon Zoom press conference that the association was alarmed at the "almost non-stop violence in St. Louis."
"We’ve been impressed by the mayor's handling of coronavirus epidemic but we're asking city leaders to start taking seriously the violence and crime epidemic," Roorda said.