Suspect in 'ambush' shooting of officer identified - KMOV.com

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Suspect in 'ambush' shooting of officer identified

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Officers at Smiley and Leola after the suspect was shot and killed (Credit: KMOV) Officers at Smiley and Leola after the suspect was shot and killed (Credit: KMOV)
George Bush III seen in a previous mugshot (Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department) George Bush III seen in a previous mugshot (Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)
Officers on scene of a shooting that wounded a St. Louis police officer Sunday, November 11, 2016 in south St. Louis. Chief Sam Dotson called the shooting an "ambush" (Credit: KMOV) Officers on scene of a shooting that wounded a St. Louis police officer Sunday, November 11, 2016 in south St. Louis. Chief Sam Dotson called the shooting an "ambush" (Credit: KMOV)
The officer's patrol car, with shattered glass on the road located at Hampton and Pernod. (KMOV) The officer's patrol car, with shattered glass on the road located at Hampton and Pernod. (KMOV)
Police had Hampton closed at Pernod for hours Sunday evening (Credit: KMOV) Police had Hampton closed at Pernod for hours Sunday evening (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A man accused of shooting a St. Louis City police sergeant Sunday night in an ‘ambush’ attack was killed in a shootout overnight, according to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.

Sources identified the 19-year-old suspect fatally shot early Monday morning as George Bush III, of the 7000 block of Lansdown Avenue in St. Louis.

The 46-year-old sergeant was inside his vehicle at a stop light near Hampton and Pernod when he was shot twice in the face around 7 p.m. According to Chief Dotson, Bush III pulled up next to the officer and fired two shots into the squad car, shattering the glass window.

“This shows the dangers of policing, not just in St. Louis but across the country,” Dotson said. “This is a very dangerous job.”

The sergeant, who has been with the department for about 20 years, called for assistance and was taken to a hospital in critical, but stable condition. Dotson said the sergeant was able to talk, despite being shot in the face. The officer was released from the hospital Monday morning.

“He was just protecting the streets and was shot without provocation,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “He didn’t deserve this. He was just doing his job, but he was targeted because he was a police officer.”

Late Monday night, CrimeStoppers offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect.  

“All of us as a community have to work together to find this guy. This person has to be stopped,” Slay said. “He will do this again if he isn’t stopped.”

The St. Louis Police Department’s helicopter and SWAT team were activated to search for the gunman.

Hours after the sergeant was shot, officers found the suspect's abandoned vehicle in an unoccupied parking garage near Laclede's Landing. They then learned the suspect left his vehicle and was picked up in a different vehicle that was being driven by an unidentified woman.

Just after midnight, police tracked the suspect, who was inside the woman’s vehicle, to the area of Smiley and Leola in south St. Louis.

When police pulled behind the vehicle, the woman pulled over, at which time the suspect got out and ran through an alley, then a yard and onto Smiley. While running, the suspect spotted an unmarked police car with two officers inside and fired a gunshot, striking the windshield, police said. The officers were hit by flying glass, but did not sustain any significant injuries.

Responding officers approached the area and the suspect fired more shots. According to police, the responding officers, one of which was assigned to the FBI Task Force, returned fire, striking the suspect.

Police said they knew Bush by name and believe he could be connected to several robberies, possibly a carjacking and homicide, from St. Louis City to St. Louis County.

“What we believe is that individual was responsible for a series of crimes that have occurred over the last couple of days here in St. Louis City and St. Louis County, and when he saw the officer he became concerned that he would be recognized,” Dotson said.

Bush was currently facing a felony charge for resisting arrest. In that case, from October of 2015, police say Bush was driving a Pontiac Grand Prix on Grand Avenue when they observed him violating a traffic law. He failed to pull over when signaled to do so. and reportedly was driving at excessive speeds, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, before police were able to pull him over.

Bush was set to go to trial in that case in January.

Childhood friends say Bush was a good person who started running with the wrong crowd around a year ago.

"He was always a helping person. He'd give people advice and everything. he was always a positive person," said childhood friend Sailor Kempen.

A gun was recovered from the suspect following the shootout.

“We did recover at the scene a pistol with a high capacity magazine, an extended magazine and we believe he had additional magazines, additional bullets to be able to put in that gun to shoot at somebody,” Dotson said.

Per department policy, the sergeant who fired gunshots at the suspect has been placed on administrative leave.

The Force Investigative Unit is handling the ongoing investigation.

Following the shooting, Chief Dotson said all officers will begin patrolling with a partner.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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