(KMOV.com) – Authorities responded to a call for an officer shot in north St. Louis County late Saturday night.
St. Louis County Police reported a male police officer from Ferguson was doing routine patrol around 9:10 p.m. in the 1000 block of Smith Avenue when he spotted an unknown male in the back of the Ferguson Community Center.
Police said the officer got out of his vehicle to see why the man was there. The suspect fled and the officer followed on foot.
Officials said during the pursuit the suspect turned toward the officer with a handgun and began firing shots. The officer was hit in the left arm. Police say the officer returned fire but there is no indication that the suspect was struck. The suspect then fled the scene.
The officer was taken to a hospital and is expected to be okay, however, an official condition has not been released.
"[The suspect] returned with fire and the officer was able to block it with his arm," said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, "The officer said he was able to get a couple of shots off. We have no indication that [the suspect] was shot."
Belmar said detectives were working to piece together the information and that he didn't believe the shooting was in any way connected to protests for Michael Brown.
Officers described the suspect as a slender, black man with dreadlocks. West Florissant Road from I-270 to Chambers was closed as police searched for suspects, it has since reopened. Reports indicate the suspect fled on foot. K9 officers and police helicopters were canvassing the area late Saturday. Police continued to search for about an hour and a half, but they did not locate the suspect.
A police staging area was set up around the area of West Florissant and Stein Saturday night as man multiple police departments responded to the scene.
The St. Louis County Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit is conducting the investigation.