WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A South Carolina man was identified as the suspect killed during an early morning officer-involved shooting in Wentzville.
St. Charles County police said an officer pulled a car over for speeding around 2 a.m. in the 15000 block of Veterans Memorial Parkway. There were two men and a woman in the car when it pulled over at the BP gas station. After the man in the backseat got out of the car, he appeared to be reaching for something in his waistband, which police later said was a gun, and the officer began struggling with him. During the struggle, the officer fired his service gun, hitting the suspect several times.
After realizing the suspect had been hit by the gunfire, “officers immediately rendered first aid until emergency medical personnel arrived,” said St. Charles County police. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified by police as Johan Quintero, 22, of Greenville, South Carolina.
Authorities reported finding narcotics and guns in the car that was stopped. They also said two of the three people inside of the car had extensive criminal histories. Yeffirth Rivera and Olivia Combs were inside and have been charged with drug trafficking.
"There appears to be a large quantity of narcotics in the vehicle, that they were transporting. There was a second firearm recovered from the scene as well," said Police Chief Kurt Frisz at a press conference Thursday.
According to the charges, the three were transporting 100 pounds of marijuana from California to sell in their home state of South Carolina.
St. Charles County police do not currently have body cameras, but they are expected to start wearing them next month. Surveillance video from the gas station captured the events as they unfolded, police said.
No officers were injured during the incident, but Frisz said it reinforces the dangers of the job.
"I think it brings home the realty of the dangers police officer face everyday. Alot of traffic stops are routine, but they can turn to this right away," he said.
The officer who fired the fatal shots has been on the force for 15 years. The St. Charles County Department’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations is handling the ongoing investigation.