Suspect charged after officer-involved shooting in north St. Lou -


Suspect charged after officer-involved shooting in north St. Louis

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Devonte Morgan, 24, charged in officer-involved shooting in North City. (KMOV) Devonte Morgan, 24, charged in officer-involved shooting in North City. (KMOV)
(Chris Nagus, KMOV) (Chris Nagus, KMOV)

One suspect has been charged following the shooting of two police officers in north St. Louis. 

Devonte Morgan, 24, was charged with three counts of assault in the first degree, three counts of armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm. Morgan is being held on a $300,000 cash-only bond.

The second subject who was taken into custody was not charged in the incident. 

According to Acting St. Louis Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole, the wounded officers were detectives in the gang unit. Around 1:45 p.m. on Friday, the detectives, one male and one female, were driving through a the 800 block of Dixon Avenue when they saw two persons of interest and circled back to talk to them. 

When they approached, the two suspects, aged 22 and 24, opened fire in what O'Toole described as an ambush. 

"Both officers were struck by the rounds in their legs, their hand, appears to be some shrapnel injuries to their face," he said. 

One of the weapons used was a 7.62mm assault rifle. Police later recovered a 9mm handgun as well. 

The detectives, while severely wounded, were able to flee the scene to the intersection of 14th Street and Cass Avenue and call for aid, where fellow officers arrived to take them to the hospital. 

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Both officers went into surgery on Friday and were released from the hospital on Sunday. According to O'Toole, the male officer is 35 years old and has been on the force for nine years and the female officer is 32 years old and has been on the force for 10 years.

An innocent bystander was also struck, and rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries. 

"The total disregard for safety from these suspects led, unfortunately, to a lady in a nearby building being struck in the head by a bullet," O'Toole said. 
That lady is in critical condition." 

The first suspect was apprehended around 3 p.m. and the second sometime after. No further violence followed the initial shooting. 

"I think that’s a credit to everyone that we were going after violent offenders,violent offenders who shot at officers, and we took them into custody without any shots fired by us," the chief said. "These are violent offenders and they don’t want to be taken. They don’t care about anyone else."

 Both suspects had criminal histories, though information on their records was not available. 

The incident follows a series of violent altercations between officers and suspects and Chief O'Toole said the incidents serve to underscore the danger officers face while policing. 

"What is important and that we never lose sight of, is that in St. Louis, we have violent crime," he said. "It was a week ago I was here again for an officer who was stabbed. Last night we had an officer who was involved in a shooting with an individual who had a handgun. Today, I have two officers shot in the hospital here; all dealing with violent, dangerous suspects. Felons. When you’re dealing with violent offenders, this is the type of work you can expect. These are the type of actions from violent offenders. This is what they do."

Watch: O'Toole press conference regarding officers shot

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson was outside the hospital following the shooting and said the officers' actions are very courageous. 

"Their families are gathering, and we just hope for the best for them," Mayor Krewson said.

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