Questions remain after I-55 police pursuit, fatal shootout

FESTUS, Mo. - An intense police chase that ended Friday afternoon in a home garage in Festus had residents in Alexander Heights on edge.

Residents said the neighborhood it was peaceful as always and the next thing they knew, gunfire erupted.

Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak said it all started in Herculaneum, where a police officer pulled over a car matching the description of a vehicle of a sex offender who’d been spotted around the Dunklin School District.

Authorities said the driver of the vehicle refused officer’s commands and the officer tried to get the driver out of the car. The sheriff said the driver then drove off, dragging the officer with him.

The intense encounter all came to ahead when the driver pulled in a garage in the 1100 block of Alexander Drive in Festus and started shooting at police. Authorities said law enforcement fired back and the suspect was killed.

A friend of the man who died said the driver was the son of the sex offender and was driving his father’s car. That friend went on to say the man had lived in this home before with his wife and two children.

Now, hours after the initial pursuit, investigators said they’re still trying to gather why a traffic stop led to this.

Dunklin School District sent home a letter saying there was no longer an immediate threat to students, but still encouraged everyone to remained vigilant.

The officers involved in this incident were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.