Vernon Collins: Suspect Charge With Wrestling Gun From St. Louis Cop, Shooting Him


Collins: Suspect has a lengthy rap sheet.
  • Collins: Suspect has a lengthy rap sheet.
A St. Louis police officer is home recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg and another victim remains hospitalized with stab wounds after a disturbance early this morning in north St. Louis.

According to St. Louis police, an officer responded to the 5200 block of St. Louis Avenue around 1 a.m. to find a 52-year-old man stabbed on the sidewalk and the stabbing suspect still inside the victim's home. The suspect then fled the residence only to be caught by the officer. A struggle ensued that ended with the suspect wrestling the officer's gun away from him and firing a shot.

Police arrested the suspect a few minutes later at Norwood Court and Norwood Drive with the officer's weapon in his possession, according to police. This afternoon prosecutors charged Vernon Lamont Collins, 34, with first-degree assault, disarming a peace officer, resisting arrest and two counts of armed criminal action. Collins, of the 4300 block of Ellenwood, remains in custody with bail set at $500,000 cash-only.

The officer, a 30-year-old with less than two years' experience on the force, was treated and released with graze wounds to his torso and leg. The stabbing victim remains hospitalized and was last reported to be in "stable" condition.

Court records show Collins pleaded guilty to motor vehicle theft in 1993, was sentenced to prison in 1995 for stealing and second-degree burglary after violating his probation from a 1992 arrest on similar charges and pleaded guilty to tampering with a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property in 2006.