Person of interest in custody in Florissant officer shooting -

Person of interest in custody in Florissant officer shooting

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By Eric Lorenz By Eric Lorenz
By Eric Lorenz By Eric Lorenz

( -- Police report they have a person of interest in custody in relation to the Monday morning shooting of a police officer in Florissant, Missouri.

Officer Mike Vernon, 33, was shot in the 2800 block of North Lindbergh while he was aiding in the search for two burglary suspects.  Vernon is currently listed in stable condition at Depaul Hospital.

Police have not said if the man they have in custody is the shooter, but say he fits the description they had.  The man in custody is described as a black male with dreadlocks.  Further details surrounding the man's capture were not immediately available.

According to officials, a call for a burglary in progress was issued just before 3 a.m.  Two officers responded to the area and heard some activity at the rear of a residence.  When the officers went to investigate, they saw two people take off, start jumping neighboring fences and running through other properties.

When the suspects took off, the responding officers notified other officers in the area that the suspected burglars were on foot.  Those officers started searching around nearby businesses.  Officer Vernon located a person behind a building and that person started firing shots at him, striking him twice.  The suspect then fled from the scene.

Vernon was rushed to Depaul Hospital for treatment.  He was initially listed in serious condition, but has been downgraded to critical condition.  He has undergone one surgery, but will be undergoing several more.  Vernon has been with the police force for seven years and is active duty in the army.

After the shooting, authorities set up a perimeter in the neighborhood, but all search efforts are winding down and all roadways are open again.

Police from surrounding agencies responded to aid in the search for the gunman and another suspect.  A SWAT team was also called in to help in the search. 

There's no word on the whereabouts of the second suspect.

Vernon is originally from Springfield, Missouri.  His mother was flown by Missouri Highway Patrol to be with her son Monday.

Stay with News 4 and for continuing coverage.


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