ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Two suspects have been charged after a St. Louis City police officer was shot while interrupting a burglary at his home in north St. Louis County on Thursday.
Montez Thomas and Christopher Gales, both 18, were both charged with one count each of assault, robbery, burglary and three counts of armed criminal action. Both men are each being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
Police said the suspects were caught in a relative’s house near where the officer lives.
Police said the officer, 45, was off-duty Thursday when he discovered the burglars at his house in the 700 block of Lookaway Drive near Riverview and Chambers.
“I think in this case (the suspects) were actually half-way through burglarizing the house when they were interrupted by the homeowner, who was actually in the basement,” said Officer Rick Eckhard with St. Louis County Police.
Police said Thomas and Gales both shot the officer in the stomach before fleeing to the nearby home, ditching evidence as they ran.
According to hospital officials, the officer was then transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital to undergo emergency surgery. He is currently stable and continues to recuperate.
Authorities from St. Louis city, St. Louis County, Riverview and the Missouri Highway Patrol used K-9 units and a helicopter to help search for the two suspects Thursday afternoon.
Police said they are now re-interviewing the suspects in hopes of recovering both weapons that were sued to fire at the officer.
“Believe me, now that they’re in custody, if there’s anything to look at them for anything else, we would,” said Eckhard.
Authorities said the victim, a 23-year veteran of the force, is assigned to the second district. Police said he’s married and has two children.
According to court records, both Thomas and Gales were arrested and charged earlier this year for a separate burglary incident. They were given probation in those cases.
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