Pine Lawn police chief fires at suspect following seatbelt checkpoint

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by Maggie Crane

KMOV.com

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 11 at 2:31 PM

(KMOV) – An area police chief is defending his decision to fire his gun at a driver who hit an officer while fleeing a police checkpoint Friday evening.

Pine Lawn Police Chief Rickey Collins used his department-issued gun when a driver went through a police checkpoint and hit an officer, injuring the officer’s arm. After that, the driver took off from the checkpoint.
 
Chief Collins, wearing plain clothes, was in pursuit of the suspect when he fired a shot with the intent to injure or kill the suspect. Collins called him a fleeing felon. 
 
The chief says “[the suspect] made a motion to slow me down, appeared that was going to pull a gun. I fired.”
 
But, the question News 4 asked is why did no outside police agency investigate the shooting?
 
Chief Collins says, “it wasn't a police shooting where a person was struck or anything like that. Any time we call St. Louis County is if we have police involved where people are injured or hurt.” 
 
After, when asked who checks to make sure the chief is within the limits of law if other agencies did not investigate the shooting, he answered “well, I understand that. I hope that I've been in law enforcement for many years and that I'm trusted by my peers.”
 
Both St. Louis Metropolitan Police and St. Louis County Police say that whenever there is an officer-involved shooting, there is a full investigation after. 
 
Officer Cliff Moelaoring, who was hit by the car, suffered a sprained shoulder and will be fine.

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