ABCNews.com(ST. LOUIS) — Two police officers were shot in the chest Thursday morning in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, but their bulletproof vests appeared to have saved their lives, officials said.
The uniformed members of the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department were injured in an encounter with a gunman around 7:15 a.m. local time, but expected to survive, McGuire said.
In the wake of the shooting the suspect ran down the street and barricaded himself in the house where he was believed to live, Sgt. Shawn McGuire of the St. Louis County Police Department said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Tactical teams arrived to the home around 9:30 a.m. and tried to make contact with the suspect, McGuire said. About an hour later, the suspect yelled something at police officers, confirming that he was indeed in the home.
Around 11:12 a.m., the suspect fired one round at officers through the back door of the home before retreating back inside, McGuire said. No officers were struck by the gunfire, McGuire added.
By 2:45 p.m., the suspect was apprehended inside the residence after officers made entry, McGuire said. The suspect sustained one gunshot wound to the upper chest and was taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, McGuire said.
The suspect did not put up a struggle when he was apprehended, and officers recovered two handguns from the home, McGuire said.
McGuire said the incident began when the department received a call Wednesday night about shots fired in the suburb. Police were unable to locate the person related to the report, but they remained in the area overnight near a residence where they thought the shots potentially came from.
In the morning, police received a call from a neighbor who saw someone leave the house. Two officers located the individual, a 37-year-old man, walking down the street and tried to have a dialogue with him, according to McGuire.
The officers ultimately attempted to take the man into custody and a scuffle ensued. At some point, the man took out a firearm and shot the officers, McGuire said.
Ballistic vests worn by the officers blocked the rounds of gunfire but they still suffered some injuries. Both were hospitalized for treatment and evaluation, according to McGuire.
St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Benjamin Granda said the vests appear to have been “instrumental” in limiting the officers’ injuries.
One of the officers is a 44-year-old sergeant with 22 years of law enforcement experience who has been a member of the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department for eight years. The other is a 25-year-old woman who has served with the department for three years, according to Granda.
The firearm used to shoot the officers has not yet been recovered, McGuire said. The St. Louis County Police Department was on scene assisting with the barricaded suspect.
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