ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - St. Louis Police wound a suspected car thief who they say fired at them first.
The trouble began just before noon in the Academy neighborhood of North St. Louis, as police responded to an OnStar alert about a stolen car parked for about an hour in the 5200 block of Ridge Avenue.
Chief Sam Dotson offered the following account:
The first officer to arrive, a female African-American with two years on the force, was approaching the car when she saw two men near it take off running.
She called for backup and ran after them on foot.
Two officers responded to the call for backup; one of them an African-American with seven years on the force, and the other a white officer with nine years on the force. Together the three of them were chasing the two African American suspects down the alley when one of the suspects pulled a gun.
'He said, `I am going to kill you` towards the officer,' Dotson said.
'The suspect running with a gun, turns, pulls the trigger, gun misfires, clears the action in the gun, begins to fire live rounds at the officers,' Dotson said.
The suspect, who is 41, is in stable condition. He was hit in the face, arm and leg.
A small group of protesters converged on the scene, chanting anti-police slogans.
The wounded suspect is an African-American man, and is believed to be the same person police have been looking for in connection to four armed robberies in the same area over the past month.
Dotson says the silver .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol the suspect used to fire at the officers matches the description of the gun used in those robberies.
The other suspect got away.
He is described as an African-American man in his 20s, last seen wearing a red jacket.