ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV)—Police shot and killed a suspect who allegedly opened fire on St. Charles County Sheriff’s deputies early Wednesday morning.
Police say Richard Heeter, 61, was shot and killed by tactical team members who were containing the area for a search grid just before 6 a.m.
Authorities said officers from multiple departments were searching for Heeter, who allegedly opened fire on several deputies responding to a call of ‘shots fired’ in the 2300 block of Circle Drive.
St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer said two deputies arrived first on the scene shortly after 1 a.m. As one deputy approached the house, he was shot in the arm by Heeter.
Another deputy was shot while sitting in his patrol car. He suffered gunshot wounds to the wrist and upper arm.
Several other deputies were injured with what was described as ‘walking wounds.’
According to Neer, Heeter was at a home collecting a debt of some kind when the original shooting took place.
Both deputies were taken to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Another deputy was also injured after being struck by glass from a shattered windshield. Those officers were treated and later returned to the scene for debriefing.
Officers from multiple departments assisted in the manhunt for Heeter.
Police said tactical officers were about to leave the area in an armored vehicle when they spotted Heeter walking down the middle of the street.
Authorities said it looked like Heeter was unarmed, so they went to arrest him.
They told Heeter to get on the ground, but he refused and began sprinting at the officers.
Police said he and an officer got into a physical altercation and Heeter somehow pulled out a knife and stabbed the officer in the shoulder.
That’s when other officers opened fire on Heeter, killing him.
Police say an assault rifle was found at the scene without ammo. It is believed to be the same weapon used in the shooting.
Police told News 4 that it appears Heeter lost his job recently, it's not clear when he lost it. Police say he was also having marital problems.
A search of court records shows Heeter got a divorce three decades ago and was ordered to pay child support twenty years after that. He claimed two vehicles as his personal property, a 1999 lumina and a 1975 pickup, combined they were worth about 3-thousand dollars. He did pay his taxes, and there's no local record of any criminal charges filed against him.
There is no local real estate listing him as the owner. It appears he had very little money.
They still do not know why he opened fire.