by Sam Levin
Update below with charges: In the middle of the day yesterday, two men kicked open the front door of a St. Louis home, prompting a mother and her fourteen-month-old baby to hide in the bathroom, police say.
This disturbing incident began with a frantic 911 call and ended with two suspects in custody after a bizarre and violent police chase.
The incident happened on the 4000 block of Lafayette Avenue in the Botanical Heights neighborhood by Interstate 44. The 911 call came in at around 12:30 p.m. from a 33-year-old woman who said that two suspects had kicked open her door and that she was hiding in a second-floor bathroom with her baby girl.
She told police that she could hear the suspects ransacking the house.
At one point during the break-in, a suspect entered the bathroom but did not see the victims hiding in the bathtub behind a shower curtain, an incident report says.
Officers soon arrived and saw the suspects in the home and an SUV with the engine running in front of the residence.
One male cop entered -- and police say both the suspects attempted to attack him. One of them, 25, had a screwdriver and allegedly tried to stab the cop. The other, 27, pulled a seat back off of a chair and swung it at the officer, the report says.
At this point, in fear for his safety, cops say the officer fired one shot at the younger suspect, wounding him in the right side.
The two suspects continued to fight with the officer and eventually fell through a rear glass sliding door that led to the patio. At this point, the injured suspect fled to the SUV and drove off.
Immediately thereafter, police say this suspect called 911 and reported that he was the victim of a drive-by shooting. Officers, however, were suspicious of the timing, and the cop who had fired the shot later identified this caller -- taken to a hospital for his gunshot wound -- as one of the burglars. He was treated and released from the hospital and taken into custody.
Meanwhile, the second suspect didn't make it to the car and reportedly ran back to the house and out the front door when he was confronted by a second cop.
He was soon after taken into custody.
As is standard department policy, the cop who fired the shots, a 36-year-old officer with nearly ten years on the force, has been placed on administrative leave.
The mother and child, it appears, were not physically harmed.
Police have not yet named the suspects or announced charges. We'll update when they do.
Update, 2:32 p.m.: The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office has charged both men.
The suspect with a screwdriver who was shot by a cop is Terrill Wise, 25, who lives on the 5800 block of Highland Avenue in north St. Louis. He is facing charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree assault on a law-enforcement officer, resisting arrest, armed criminal action and first-degree property damage. The second suspect is 27-year-old Jahon Anderson, who lives on the 6000 block of Maple Avenue in north St. Louis, who is facing the same set of charges.
Wise's mugshot has been added above in this post and here's Anderson's mugshot:
Both men have criminal histories, according to probable cause statements from the circuit attorney's office.
Wise has a prior conviction and is currently on probation in the county for a second-degree burglary property damage case. He is currently on electronic monitoring. He also has a pending misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.
Anderson has prior convictions in the city for second-degree robbery, property damage, stealing a car and more.
Prosecutors say that both men admitted to the robbery.
Here are the probable cause statements followed by the original metro police summary.
Location: 4000 block of Lafayette
Date/Time: 09/10/13 @ 12:30 p.m.
Victim #1: 33-year old black female
Victim #2: 14-month old black female
Victim #3: 36-year old white male (St. Louis Police Officer with nearly 10 years on the force)
Suspect #1: 25-year old black male (shot in right flank, treated and released from hospital) in custody
Suspect #2: 27-year old black male - in custody
Ninth District Officers responded to a call for a Burglary in progress in the 4000 block of Lafayette. Victim #1 called 911 and stated that two suspects had kicked open the front door of her residence. Victim #1 stated she was hiding in a second floor bathroom with her child, Victim #2, and could hear the suspects ransacking the house. At one point, a suspect entered the bathroom, however, he did not see the victims hiding in the bathtub behind a shower curtain.
As one of the officers approached the residence, he observed the front door had been kicked in. The other officer observed an SUV with the engine running in front of the residence. The officer also saw the suspects inside the home. He entered as he knew the victims were inside. The suspects attempted to attack the officer. Suspect #1 was wielding a screwdriver, while Suspect #2 pulled off the top seatback of a chair and swung it at the officer. The officer, in fear for his safety, fired one shot at Suspect #1 who was trying to stab him with the screwdriver. Suspect #1 suffered a gunshot wound to the right flank. The two suspects fought with the officer who attempted to take them into custody. They struggled and fell through a rear glass sliding door which led to the patio. Suspect #1 fled to the SUV which was parked in front and drove to the area of Page and Hodiamont where he called 911 and reported he was the victim of a 'drive by shooting.
Suspect #2 ran back into the house to leave out the front door when he was confronted by the second officer. Suspect #2 ran back out the patio door and was taken into custody near the scene by responding officers. Officers noted how quickly this call came out after the burglary and were suspicious. Suspect #1 was conveyed to a local hospital where he was treated and released to officers. The involved officer at the Lafayette scene responded to the hospital and positively identified Suspect #1 as one of the burglars. Suspect #2 led officers on a foot pursuit through the neighborhood. He was eventually captured at 39th and Blaine. He resisted arrest and was tased by officers. Suspect #2 suffered cut wounds to his hands and was treated by EMS. No officers were injured in this incident.
As is department policy in all officer-involved shooting incidents, the officer who fired the gunshot has been placed on administrative leave.