ST. LOUIS — Two officers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department found themselves the target of what had been a rolling gun battle between opposing groups early Thursday morning.
According to SLMPD Lt. Col. Mary Warnecke, two officers in an unmarked SUV were near Interstate 70 and Goodfellow overnight Wednesday–Thursday because of some known problems in the area. During their covert patrol assignment, Warnecke said officers observed an argument between a group of people at a gas station located at Lillian and Goodfellow. As the factions parted ways from the location, they opened fire at one another from two cars, KSDK reported.
As the shooting continued, the officers in the unmarked unit eventually became the target, Warnecke said.
Cheryl Smith Coleman heard the gunfire. “It sounded like a war,” she emphasized while describing the gun battle that occurred about 1 a.m. on Thursday. Coleman believes she heard 100 shots, and based upon the crime scene investigation, she may be correct.
KSDK video from the scene showed at least 88 evidence markers being placed by police detectives on Goodfellow Boulevard, the news organization reported.
Officers documented the rolling gun battle in their report. They saw a man standing on the sidewalk begin shooting at both cars as they departed the gas station. Apparently realizing officers were nearby, the suspect turned his attention their way and fired at the unmarked patrol unit. The officers got out of their vehicle and returned fire, KSDK reported.
There were no known injuries by the barrage of bullets flying around.
Although the officers were not in uniform, they donned ballistic vests with “POLICE” written on them, Warnecke said.
“We believe they were obviously shooting at police officers, once they announced themselves, identified themselves and they could see those officers, it was quite obvious they were police officers and they continued to take fire, ” Lt. Col Warnecke said. “We are very fortunate today we don’t have officers injured or killed.
The suspect drove away from the shooting scene but was taken into custody a short time later. Police did not identify the man but said he’s 29 years old. The police department plans to request charges from the circuit attorney’s office.
There were no further details provided.