Suspect in custody after police search for possibly armed man

DES PERES, MO (KPLR) – A 22 year old Des Peres man is in custody after leading police on a two hour chase through several affluent west county neighborhoods. It began when he allegedly threatened his mother with a gun.

Police say it was about noon when the received the call from the frightened woman on Andre Drive, just off Bopp Rd.

“She was currently locked in a room in the house and she stated he currently had a gun in his waistband,” Des Peres Police Captain Charles Milano said.

Police responded to the million dollar home and found their suspect in the driveway. They say he saw them and took off running. This began a lengthy chase by heavily armed police officers through the surrounding neighborhoods.

Dede Pitts was in her kitchen preparing for guests.

“Look out the back window and here is, it looked like a police officer but you’re never sure, a man with a rifle and a vest on just going slowly across my back yard looking back into the bushes where the creek is,” she said. “I’m thinking this is a little crazy.”

She immediately called police.

“I called 911 and they said , ‘Wait, wait, wait, where are you? Stay on the line with me.’ I described him and they said, ‘I think that’s one of our guys.’ And I said, ‘It looks like a police officer but…honestly.’ And she’s like, ‘Don’t worry, just stay in your house.’”

She wasn’t the only one on the phone with cops.

“We were getting calls from citizens as he was running through their yards in different places,” Milano said. “And he was on the cell phone with his mother and was giving us different locations where he could have been. Where we apprehended him wasn’t actually where he was.”

At one point he claimed to be at the Des Peres theater. The cinema, just west of I-270 off of Manchester was immediately put on lock-down. Police say the St. Clement Catholic school and two campuses of St. Gerard were also on lock-down during the search.

The man was eventually tracked down on Cedar Valley Rd, immediately to the east of I-270. Police say he was taken into custody without incident, but he did not have the gun.

Officers returned to the home on Andre with search dogs, and began looking for the weapon. The gave an unusual instruction to a landscaper who showed up to cut the lawn.

“All he said was, ‘Don’t run over the gun,’” Michael Fuchs said, “and I was like, ‘There’s a gun back there?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah we’re looking for it right now.’ And I was thinking maybe I don’t want to go cut the back yard with a gun in the back.”

Police aren’t releasing the name of the suspect until formal charges are filed. They say those charges will likely be tied to the threats the man made against his mother.

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