ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A man wanted by US Marshals for a homicide was killed while exchanging gunfire with St. Louis police officers Thursday afternoon, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said.
Chief Hayden said the US Marshals Service contacted St. Louis police about assisting in taking a suspect into custody who had a federal homicide warrant out for his arrest.
Officers then spotted the suspect driving in the area of Vandeventer and Dr. Martin Luther King, at which time they deployed a tire-deflation device to stop the vehicle. Police said the suspect vehicle sped away after hitting the device but stopped for a moment to let a female passenger out.
After his vehicle hit a curb at Theresa and Samuel Shepard Drive, the 26-year-old suspect ran from the scene.
A 37-year-old officer then chased the suspect to the 3400 block of Washington, where the suspect allegedly discarded a duffel bag, and then continued toward Josephine Baker. According to police, the suspect turned and fired his weapon, striking the St. Louis officer in the leg.
When a second officer, who was also on foot in the area, arrived and saw the first officer down and the suspect still with a gun, he fired at the suspect, hitting him.
Officers then took the officer who was shot in the leg to the hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition. The 37-year-old has 14 years of service, police said.
Jeff Roorda with the Police Officer's Association applauds the quick-thinking of the officers on the scene for applying two tourniquets on the injured officer.
"I heard it, straight from the sergeant's mouth, one of the officers and US Marshals applied a tourniquet and did it right, which is not always the way it happens," Roorda said. "That saved his life. He probably would have bled out if it wasn't for that."
The suspect, Rodnell Cotton, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officer who shot Cotton was not injured. That officer was described as a 43-year-old man with 17 years of service.
The woman who was let out of the car was detained by police.
A loaded .40 caliber Taurus semi-auto pistol and a loaded .223 Bushmaster AR-style rifle were recovered from the scene by police, authorities said.
Roorda said the shooting highlights why his association is demanding raises and more officers on the street to keep everyone safe.
"Criminals are running rampant on the streets of St. Louis," Roorda said. "They are murdering each other, terrorizing citizens and turning violence against police officers. They know they have us out-manned and out-gunned."
Hayden said he was unaware if Cotton was wanted for a homicide in St. Louis or elsewhere.
The Force Investigation Unit is handling the ongoing investigation.