Suspect that ambushed police officer, killed in shootout

ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Police say the suspect wanted in connection to the Sunday night shooting of St. Louis police officer was killed in a shootout.

It happened around 12:45 a.m. Monday near the intersection of Smiley Avenue and Leola.

In a late night press conference, Chief Sam Dotson said the department is looking into whether the suspect was afraid that he might have been recognized by the officer that was shot Sunday. Dotson said officers and federal authorities fanned out after the shooting looking for the suspect. His vehicle was located in a parking garage on Laclede’s Landing.

The suspect was picked up by a female friend and the pair drove back to south St. Louis. As they were driving, officers spotted the suspect and attempted to pullover the vehicle. The driver stopped the car and the suspect jumped out and ran through an alley, into a yard on Smiley Avenue. He encountered an unmarked police cruiser and fired a shot into the windshield of the vehicle.

Other officers converged on the scene and the suspect fired on those officers, who returned fire killing the suspect. No officers were injured during the shootout with the suspect.

Dotson said the suspect may have been involved in several robberies, a carjacking and a homicide over the past several days in the metro area. He was identified only as a 19-year-old African-American man.

A pistol was recovered from the scene, which had an extended magazine, along with additional ammunition.

The suspect had been sought by police after the shooting of a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer. The shooting happened Sunday around 7:30 p.m. at Hampton Avenue and Pernod Avenue.

The officer was sitting in his police vehicle in traffic on southbound Hampton when a silver vehicle pulled up along side. The driver of that vehicle opened fire at the police vehicle. Bullets broke through the glass and struck officer. The suspect then sped east on Pernod.

The officer was shot twice in the face. He was in surgery late Sunday.

The officer was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He was released from the hospital Monday morning.

The wounded officer is a 46-year old sergeant with 20 years in the police department. He is married with three children.

Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Sam Dotson both called the shooting an ambush.

"He was just doing his job," said Mayor Francis Slay. "He was targeted because he is a police officer."

Dotson says that two St. Louis officers are now being assigned to every vehicle patrol.