14-year-old shoots, injures off-duty St. Louis cop, police say

Two boys, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old, were arrested


By Kim Bell
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Police arrested a 14-year-old boy who investigators say shot an off-duty St. Louis police officer about midnight Sunday while the officer was working a security detail downtown, authorities said.

The officer was the sixth to be shot and wounded since June 1. He was shot in the arm and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 14-year-old is the one who pulled the trigger, firing shots into the officer’s unmarked security vehicle, police said. The teen and a 16-year-old boy were arrested in connection to the shooting near Convention Plaza and North 10th Street.

The boys were taken into custody near the 900 block of North 10th Street shortly after the shooting. They have been turned over to juvenile authorities.

St. Louis police Maj. Eric Larson said the officer was wearing plain clothes and a vest marked POLICE. The officer was working a department-approved secondary job for Securitas, police Officer Michelle Woodling said.

The officer was sitting in the unmarked security vehicle when two people approached him, Larson said.

“He made eye contact with the individuals, looked away, looked back, saw one of the individuals running toward him,” Larson said. “The individual then began firing shots.”

The officer was able to move his vehicle to safety, Larson said, explaining that the officer didn’t fire any shots.

The injured officer broadcast the description of the suspects. A call for an officer in need of aid went out about 11:55 p.m. Sunday.

Larson said police recovered a gun but he didn’t elaborate on what kind of weapon it was.

The officer is 47 years old and has 24 years of law enforcement experience.

The incident was the latest attack on police in St. Louis this year. Mayor Lyda Krewson pointed out on social media that the officer was the sixth to be shot since June 1.

Four officers were wounded June 2 during a night of violence after protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The officers, all men, were shot near 16th and Olive streets. Two of the officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the arm, and one was shot in the foot.

Just a week ago, on July 26, a man driving by a gas station fired at officers and riddled a police car with bullet holes.

The officers were at the Crown Mart gas station at 1515 North 13th Street when the gunman drove past and fired at a police vehicle. One officer suffered a shrapnel wound to the elbow. A second officer suffered a head injury when the fleeing suspect’s car hit a police car. A third officer suffered a knee injury while arresting the suspect.

In addition to the six current officers shot and wounded since June 1, a retired officer was killed June 2. Retired St. Louis police Capt. David Dorn was shot to death by looters while Dorn was protecting a pawn shop, authorities said. Several men have been charged in the case after store surveillance showed them looting the store.

Another recent incident involving an off-duty officer was on July 20. The officer exchanged shots with a teenager who tried to carjack him. The officer was working a secondary job as security for a funeral home in the city.

Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, said Monday in response to the shooting the night before that, “This out-of-control violence is not going to stop until we have a circuit attorney committed to holding people accountable for their dangerous conduct.”

The circuit attorney, Kimberly M. Gardner, said in a statement that Roorda was using “a tragic incident to make yet another attack on my office.”

“There are investments we need to make in this community to actually reduce violence because it has been high during the tough-on-crime era and it is too high now,” Gardner said. “We’re soon to launch, for example, Cure Violence, which is one of the programs known to actually reduce harm. We also need to make significant investments in our youth. Coming together as a community and making these investments is what we should be focusing on, rather than another attempt by Jeff Roorda to stay relevant while he disregards the needs of this community.”

©2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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