A gunman with a small "assault-style" rifle opened fire this afternoon on St. Louis police officers, wounding two before fleeing with an accomplice, the interim police chief says.
The officers, both members of the department's gang unit, were conducting an investigation on the edge of the Carr Square neighborhood north of downtown when they spotted one of their targets sitting in a car near 14th Street and Cass Avenue.
The officers turned around and planned to stop the person.
"When they did so, this person opened fired on the officers with a small, assault-style weapon," interim police Chief Lawrence O'Toole told reporters.
Both officers were hit in the legs and hands. They also suffered shrapnel wounds to their faces, O'Toole says. A bleeding woman was also taken from the scene in an ambulance, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported
The shooter took off with another person. O'Toole described them both as suspects. KSDK is reporting
that the Missouri Highway Patrol has one of the suspects in custody and that the other is still at large, but city police have yet to confirm that.
"This is the type of individuals that they are encountering on a daily basis," O'Toole says of the hazards facing city cops. "These officers did a wonderful job. I'm proud of them. They're heroes."
One of the wounded officers is a 32-year-old woman with ten years on the force. The other is a 35-year-old man with about nine years, police say.
Mayor Lyda Krewson, who joined O'Toole at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, praised the officers.
"It's a dangerous job that they're doing for us every day," she says. "Their actions are very courageous."
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