ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis Police are alarmed by increasingly brazen criminals and in turn more police-involved shootings. The latest case happened Wednesday in the Dutchtown neighborhood.
A 28-year-old officer ran down a 21-year-old who was caught breaking into a vacant home to steal pipes. The officer, a two-year veteran, caught up to the suspect and grabbed his collar with his left hand. The officer had his gun drawn in his right hand. The suspect reached back and grabbed the officer’s gun and the officer intentionally fired, hitting the suspect in the right shoulder. The suspect is hospitalized in serious condition. The officer is on administrative leave which is standard procedure. olice say it appears the shooting was justified.
The Dutchtown shooting is the 14th officer-involved shooting this year. St. Louis Metropolitan Police average 13 per year. And it’s another case of suspects assaulting an officer or going after an officer’s weapon.
“Assaults on officers are up for the year,” said Police Captain Michael Sack.
On July 24th a suspect pointed a gun at officers near Osage and Oregon in South St. Louis. Officers then fired first and hit the suspect 3 times.
On July 10th a suspected car thief got in a scuffle with an officer following a chase. The suspect grabbed the officer’s gun while still in the holster and it went off. No one was hit and the suspect was arrested.
We asked Captain Sack what he thinks it says about criminals in St. Louis that they’re willing to assault officers and go after their weapons.
“It says they have a lack of respect for authority and for law enforcement who are there in the community to provide peace and stability,” said Sack. “It does seem based on incidents in the past year that suspects are more willing to engage officers and assault officers. So it’s very disturbing. But officers are fully aware that we’re here for a reason, to serve our community.”
Not lost in the Dutchtown story is that alert neighbors called police when they saw something suspicious. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce recently told News 4 that Dutchtown is a great example of the Neighborhood Ownership Model. It’s a model for communities to follow to help reduce crime. This link will help you set it up in your neighborhood: Neighborhood Ownership Model.