More information on officer-involved shooting

A Bonne Terre police officer shot a suspect twice on Monday night while responding to a disturbance. Police say the man had attacked the officer and shoved him down two flights of stairs prior to the shots being fired.

More information on the officer-involved shooting in Bonne Terre on Monday night has been released.

Bonne Terre Police Chief Doug Calvert said a night shift officer, who had just come on duty, responded to a disturbance call at 9:20 p.m. at St. Joe Manor. At just the same time, another officer responded to a disturbance call on Middle Street, while yet another officer was responding to a possible stabbing victim who had walked to the liquor store after being stabbed at an apartment on North Division.  

Calvert said the call on Middle Street turned out to be nothing, but there was a man with lacerations which were reportedly inflicted by a woman who was taken into custody. The man was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, treated and released. 

During the same time, another Bonne Terre officer conducted a traffic stop and discovered that the vehicle driven by a man with a female passenger was stolen out of Sarasota, Florida. At the time of the stop the man had a seizure and was transported to the hospital and was later released. Both the man and woman were taken into custody and are being held in the St. Francois County Jail.

Due to the multiple incidents, Chief Calvert requested assistance from both the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department and the Terre Du Lac Police Department.

The officer who took the call at St. Joe Manor arrived and received a report that a female tenant of an apartment was assaulted by a male who was a former boyfriend. Calvert said they believe the man to be originally from Oklahoma.

“When the officer went to discuss the assault with the male subject, the man became irate and began attacking the officer,” said Calvert. “Witnesses state that the officer tried repeatedly to get the man away from the victim and the man entered a stairwell and disappeared from sight momentarily."

When the officer entered the stairwell to pursue the male suspect, the man jumped out and struck the officer in the head, knocking the officer down two flights of stairs.

“The assault continued from there,” said Calvert. “While the officer was still down, the man jumped on him again and this time attempted to take the officer's firearm.”

Calvert said at that point the officer was in fear for his life and also for the safety of those in the building. He managed to keep the suspect from getting the gun, and was eventually able to fire one shot into the suspect’s abdomen.

“At that point, witnesses stated, the suspect again came back trying to attack the officer, at which point the officer fired a second shot, again striking the suspect in the abdomen,” the chief said.

Following the second shot, the suspect fled on foot. The chief soon arrived on the scene and began setting up an incident command post.

St. Francois County deputies arrived with a K-9 unit and were able to track the suspect to a yard next door to the St. Joe Manor complex, where he was found hiding under a truck. The suspect still refused to yield to officers and was eventually subdued by the K-9 and taken into custody.

Calvert said the suspect was placed in an ambulance and eventually transported by helicopter to a St. Louis hospital.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the chief said, the hospital reported the suspect to be in critical but stable condition.

“He will likely need an additional surgery and will be taken into custody when he is released from the hospital,” said Calvert.

He added that the officer involved in the shooting was transported by ambulance to Parkland Health Center-North where he was treated and released. The officer had no life-threatening injuries but will off work for a time to recover from injuries he did sustain.

The chief said that he believes the officer followed all department use of force policies, but per policy the Missouri State Highway Patrol will investigate the use of force in an independent investigation.

Calvert said he wanted to stress that the incident occurred at the apartment units and at no time were the residents of the assisted living facility in any danger.

The identity of the suspects involved in the incidents are being withheld until formal charges are filed.

“I want to thank all of my officers, the surrounding city departments, the sheriff’s office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Francois County Ambulance District, and everyone else who provided assistance to the department in this serious situation,” said Calvert.

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616, or at mmcfarland@dailyjournalonline.com.


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