Metro-East News

I-270 closed for hours early Saturday after man shoots himself following chase

I-270 was shut down in both directions for several hours early Saturday morning following a police pursuit that ended when a man shot himself.

In a statement Saturday, St. Louis County Police said they joined a chase at 12:45 a.m. consisting of several officers from multiple jurisdictions who were pursuing a vehicle that had been carjacked in Wentzville, Mo.

As the chase progressed on southbound I-270, officers deployed spike strips. Even though the vehicle hit the strips and was damaged, the driver continued trying to get away until the car ran into the median.

That’s when officers heard a single gunshot from the disabled car.

Because the car’s airbags deployed, officers did not have a clear view of those inside. They used a loudspeaker to give verbal orders to the occupants in the car. The St. Louis County Tactical Operations Unit responded, approached the car and was able to get two people to exit.

Those occupants, both minors who are now in the custody of the St. Louis Family Courts, told police the diver, a 22-year-old man, shot himself after claiming he did not want to go to prison.

Police say the man who shot himself is expected to survive.

Three guns were recovered from the car, according to the statement.

No one other than the driver was hurt in the incident.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND