ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Police are investigating an officer involved shooting that has left a traffic suspect hospitalized in critical condition. They say the officer fired his weapon out of fear of being stabbed.
The shooting happened near the intersection of McPherson Avenue and North Kingshighway. Police Chief Sam Dotson said the 22-year old suspect was initially pulled over for running a red light
"Fearing that the individual is going to be able to open the knife, the officer is unable to break free of the grip the individual has on his shirt the officer fires one shot in defense of himself." said Chief Sam Dotson of the St. Louis City Police Department.
During a news conference Thursday afternoon Dotson announced the suspect sustained a gunshot would during an officer-involved shooting in the Central West End.
Police say a traffic safety officer had issued a driver a ticket for running a red light and not having a valid license plate. A second officer pulled up and the driver began yelling at them about the ticket.
The officer left the scene after the ticket was written. We're told the suspect then pulled up behind the officer's car.
Police were going to place him under arrest when the suspect allegedly went back to his car and reached into the glove box for a knife. He grabbed the officer and attempted to stab him.
Reportedly the veteran officer fired one shot, hitting the man in the arm. the Chief says the officer was not wearing a body camera and there is no dash cam video since the man pulled up behind the officer. However, the incident was recorded on audio. It will possibly be released at a later date.
The suspect is listed in critical condition and the officer was not injured.
The veteran officer has been but on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation