Arnold police officer shot Tuesday in critical but stable condition

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ARNOLD, Mo -- A police officer hurt Tuesday in a shooting was listed in critical but stable condition Wednesday afternoon. Officer Ryan O'Connor's condition is expected to vary hour by hour. Medical staff  told his family he has a long road to recovery.

The Arnold, Missouri, police officer went to the hospital after a burglary suspect shot him in the head. Police said Officer Ryan O'Connor was in his police SUV.

EMS rushed O'Connor, 44, to St. Anthony's Medical Center with "life-threatening injuries." O'Connor went into surgery Tuesday, according to Jefferson County Sheriff's Captain Gary Higginbotham.

Police officers from across the region went to the hospital to show support for the wounded officer. O'Connor has worked for the Arnold Police Department for about three years. He previously worked as an officer in St. Louis County and Ferguson.

The shooting happened Tuesday when police responded to a burglary report in an Arnold neighborhood. They were looking for suspet, Chad Klahs, 29.

Police said Klahs stole a gun from a vehicle. He shot the gun at O'Connor in the Arnold Police Department parking lot.

Authorities said it appears the suspect shot the officer and then turned the gun on himself. Klahs died at the hospital a few hours later.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department is leading an investigation. The department is working to determine how Klahs got a hold of the gun in the patrol car.

Police said Klahs was ‘well-known’ to them. He had prior charges and convictions involving drugs, harassment, tampering with a witness, and first degree burglary.