ST. LOUIS — A suspect was killed and an officer injured Wednesday afternoon following a confrontation outside a St. Louis gas station, according to authorities.
The shooting happened after two patrol officers spotted a recently stolen SUV at the service station, Police Chief John Hayden said at a news conference. One officer got out and approached the driver, who was alone in the vehicle.
With the driver’s side door open, the SUV suddenly accelerated backward before crashing, Hayden said. The officer “was caught between the door and the actual car itself” and fired his gun, the chief said. Hayden didn’t know how many shots were fired.
The suspect was struck in the chest and was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital. The officer was not shot but suffered what Hayden described as a significant but not life-threatening head injury. Police were trying to determine how the officer was injured.
Asked if the officer fired out of fear for his life, Hayden said investigators are determining that. The suspect did not fire a gun and Hayden wasn’t sure if he was in possession of a weapon.
As reporters gathered outside the hospital just prior to Hayden’s news conference, an upset woman near the emergency room entrance could be heard screaming, “The police shot my (expletive) baby!”
Hayden said the officer, 31, has been on the force for two years. The suspect was a black man believed to be in his mid-20s. Hayden did not state the officer’s race.
Police are gathering video from surveillance cameras in the area as part of the investigation, Hayden said.