Police shootout in hotspot policing neighborhood

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - St. Louis City police exchanged gunfire with a suspected drug dealer Saturday afternoon after the dealer fired shots at police striking one officer in the foot.  The suspect was killed.  The 29-year old police officer is expected to recover.  Two other men were taken into custody, unharmed.

The shootings occurred  at Taylor and Garfield in the Fountain Park neighborhood, an area designated this week for a hotspot policing detail.  Commanders had moved extra officers into the area to focus on illegal guns and drug dealing.

Police Chief Sam Dotson said the two uniformed officers observed what they  believed was a drug sale from a suspect`s car about 4pm.  They attempted to pin the car at a curb when the driver sped off, lost control  and crashed outside the Catholic Charities Queen of Peace facility for children.

'As the officers exited their vehicle and approached the vehicle after the accident that`s when the suspect fired at officers,' said Chief Dotson.  Dotson said the 25-year old gunman had been driving the vehicle. He was killed by police gunfire.

Other nearby officers reached the scene quickly and took two males ages 28 and 18 into custody.   Neither was hurt in the exchange of gunfire.  The two may face charges once the police investigation is complete.

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