Traffic stop turns into police chase after gun pointed at officers

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Two men were arrested Thursday morning after a police chase that began during a routine traffic stop near I-270 and Riverview.  Police are still looking for another suspect.

Around 9:45 a.m., a St. Louis County police officer witnessed the suspect vehicle, a tan Chevy Silverado pickup truck with Illinois temporary tags,  weaving in and out of traffic on southbound Bellefontaine near Dunn Road. After pulling the truck over on a gas station parking lot, the driver, a Caucasian male, exited the vehicle.

However, things took a turn when the passenger, an African-American man, pointed a gun at the officer. Fearing for his life, the officer opened fire. At that point, the passenger got back into the truck and pulled off. The original driver was left behind and arrested at the scene.

“We’re talking about split second reaction; the officer engaged the suspect, firing several shots,” said Lt. Ray Price, St. Louis County Police Department.

County police chased the suspect vehicle into St. Louis City but lost it. The chase ended when the truck crashed near the intersection of Broadway and Blase.

The pickup’s windshield had sustained several bullet holes and the back window was shot out. Police discovered a handgun in the truck and believe they found blood on the steering wheel. Officers checked the nearby railroad tracks while others looked in backyards; police dogs were brought in to assist with the search.

A man matching the suspect's description was arrested near the intersection of Broadway and Keber. He was not involved in the chase, but was taken into custody for an unrelated crime.

According to Sgt. Brian Schellman, a county police spokesman, the initial driver is cooperating with investigators. The man said he and the passenger were in the midst of a drug deal when they were pulled over by police.

Shortly after 12:20 p.m., officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 3200 block of Barrett for a shooting. There they made contact with the victim, who said he was shot while walking down the street. The victim was brought to the hospital, where city and county authorities identified him as the man who pointed the gun at the county police officer. The suspect was taken into custody after being treated by doctors.