COURTESY OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE VIA TWITTER
St. Louis County police blocked off a Glasgow Village neighborhood after a gun battle.
A wanted man accused of shooting a St. Charles County police officer was found dead hours after a gun battle with the members of a U.S. Marshals-led fugitive task force, authorities say.
William Watson, 40, opened fire on task force members, including the St. Charles officer, when they arrived about 10 a.m. at his Glasgow Village home to arrest him on a warrant from a domestic violence case, according to St. Louis County police.
The St. Charles officer and another officer on the eight-man team returned fire as they took cover, police say. The St. Charles cop was the only officer who was struck. Task force members were pretty sure they had hit Watson, but St. Louis County police Sgt. Shawn McGuire told reporters they couldn't be certain in the chaos of the initial confrontation.
The task force pulled the St. Charles officer to safety, took cover and called in the county's Tactical Operations Unit. Watson had slipped out of sight behind a half-dozen cars outside the house at 10331 Durness Drive. Police kept their distance at first, unsure if Watson was planning to shoot again. Instead, it now appears he was dying.
When the tactical unit officers moved in this afternoon, they found Watson's body outside the house. He was wearing some sort of armored vest that had plates across the torso, McGuire says. It wasn't immediately clear where or how many times he was hit.
Watson was found guilty in September of felony domestic violence and violating an order of protection, court records show. He was scheduled to be sentenced in November but did not show up for court, prompting the judge to issue a warrant. McGuire says Watson was also wanted for questioning in a shooting that the county is investigating.
The 32-year-old St. Charles officer was treated and released from a hospital. He is a ten-year veteran of the department and had been attached to the task force for about a year, McGuire says.
The second task force member who shot at Watson was identified as a 44-year-old St. Louis County police officer. He has been with the country for 23 years and then joined the task force six years ago.
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