Two men are in police custody after a city-wide search for the people who ambushed and shot two St. Louis Metropolitan police officers downtown Friday afternoon.
Officers in the gang unit, a 35-year-old male and a 32-year-old female, both with about 10 years of service, were ambushed and shot while trying to speak to a person of interest in an investigation, said Chief Lawrence O’Toole.
Police recovered a 9 mm handgun and an assault rifle after taking the two suspects, ages 22 and 24, into custody Friday evening. As the suspects shot at the officers, a 24-year-old woman was shot in the head in her house. The bullet traveled through the wall, striking the woman and leaving her in critical but stable condition.
Both officers were struck by rounds in their legs and hands, and had shrapnel injuries to their face, O’Toole said. They are in stable condition at an area hospital.
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“When the officers were fired upon during the incident, with a total disregard for safety from the suspects, it led to a lady in a nearby building to get struck in the head by a bullet,” O’Toole said. “When they’re firing at officers with a high power rifle in urban areas, there are risks associated with this.”
The men will be charged with assault law enforcement officers, assault on the woman, along with other associated weapons charges. They were taken into custody without any shots being fired from officers. Police are not looking for any additional suspects.
Officers get constant messages about safety, tactics and how to approach scenes safely, O’Toole said. St. Louis has violent crime, he said, and when dealing with violent offenders, officers have to expect action like what happened Friday afternoon.
“These are violent offenders, and they don’t want to be taken, and they don’t care about anyone else,” O’Toole said. “They have a total disregard for the safety of anyone other than themselves.”