Man charged with shooting at St. Louis County officer, chase on I-44


by staff

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 9:28 PM

(KMOV) – A man who allegedly shot at a St. Louis County officer multiple times, leading to a pursuit that shut down a section of Interstate 44 in west St. Louis County on Tuesday, has been charged.

George Waiksnis, 40, was charged Wednesday with first-degree assault, armed criminal action, resisting or interfering with arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Authorities said an officer with the St. Louis County Police Department attempted to pull over a Jeep Cherokee plates for speeding on eastbound Interstate 44 in Eureka.

Police said Waiksnis pulled over. But as the officer got out of his vehicle, Waiksnis allegedly fired three to five shots through the back windshield and into the officer’s car. Waiksnis then sped away.

The pursuing officer was joined by members of the St. Louis County Tactical Unit, or SWAT team, that happened to be training as the chase sped by.

Police said Waiksnis was armed with a semi-automatic handgun when they tried to stop him for questioning.

The officers gave chase, which ended after the suspect lost control of the Jeep and struck the median on I-44 about one mile west of Highway 141.

Police said Waiksnis initially refused to get out of the Jeep, but eventually exited after being talked out by other officers who responded to the scene.

Waiksnis was taken into custody. He had previously been in federal prison on a weapons conviction from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Nobody was injured in the incident.