Fundraising efforts continue for wounded Arnold police officer

ARNOLD, Mo. - Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor continues to fight for his life Wednesday at St. Anthony’s Hospital. At last report, O’Connor was listed in critical but stable condition.

Police officials released a statement Wednesday to offer a few more specifics.

It read, in part: “…at this point, the medical staff has relayed to the family that Officer O’Connor has a long road to recovery and his condition could change by the hour.”

Folks in Arnold are reacting to the shooting. Fortune Bank opened an account Wednesday morning so people can make donations.

“This is our small way of trying to be a part of trying to help that officer and his family,” said bank president Lance Greunke.

O’Connor was shot in the back of the head in his patrol car while transporting 28-year-old Chad Klahs, a burglary suspect, to the police station Tuesday afternoon.

The Jefferson County Sheriff Department is investigating, trying to determine how Klahs, who was handcuffed, was able to get a gun into the officer’s car and if Klahs then shot and killed himself.

Authorities said they will re-interview every witness. A department spokesman said studies show people’s memories improve days after a tragic event.

Meantime, other Arnold businesses are moving to pitch in, including Local House Restaurant, which was donating a portion of its sales to O’Connor.

“The police department (and) first responders support us on a daily basis and when instances happen like this, I felt we needed to do something,” said Chris Jacobs, owner of Local House Restaurant.

The day after the shooting, BackStoppers, which comes to the aid of first responders who are critically injured or killed in the line of duty, hosted its annual luncheon for spouses of those killed.

“We’ll talk about it Ryan O’Connor situation the family situation they’ll all relate to it I’ll guarantee you that,” said Ron Battelle, BackStoppers Executive Director. “And there will be some as a result they’ll be touch with family to help them through it.”

At last check, the GoFundMe account had achieved about a third of its stated $50,000 goal.

Other businesses were lining up to hold fundraisers for Officer O'Connor and some were dropping off food at the police station and the hospital for family, friends, and loved ones keeping vigil.