Photo courtesy of Flickr / Paul Sableman.
A St. Louis police officer shot the driver of a stolen SUV and was also injured, police say.
A St. Louis police officer fatally shot the driver of a stolen SUV during a chaotic confrontation in north city, the police chief says.
The 31-year-old officer and his partner approached the maroon Hyundai Santa Fe about 1 p.m. in the parking lot of a gas station at Lillian Avenue and Goodfellow Boulevard in the Walnut Park West neighborhood.
The officer, who has been on the force about two years, hopped out of the police cruiser and stopped the man at the gas pump, Chief John Hayden told reporters. At some point, the driver's side door was opened and the driver ended up between the door and and SUV.
"Very suddenly the car accelerated backward and the officer is caught in between the door and actual car itself," Hayden says.
The details are still under investigation, but Hayden says, the officer pulled his gun and shot the man. The SUV kept going in reverse until it crashed on the other side of the gas station and the officer fell to the ground. The driver — a black male believed to be in his 20s — was hit in the chest and later died at the hospital.
The officer suffered a "very significant" head injury but will survive, Hayden says.
The Santa Fe had been reported stolen on Monday. It showed up shortly before the shooting on an electronic license plate reader, which sent an automatic alert to staff in the police department's Real Time Crime Center, Hayden says. Staffers then put out the information to officers in the area.
The 31-year-old officer and his partner spotted it as it pulled into the gas station, Hayden says.
Neither the name of the officer or the dead man have been released. Hayden says there is video from the area and promised that it would eventually be made public.
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