Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officer’s life was likely saved by his bullet-proof vest.
On Thursday, Chief Dotson tweeted that a total of three suspects were in custody for the Tuesday morning shooting. It wasn’t clear if the man in custody was the shooter. It matches the description of the vehicle involved in the officer’s shooting.
Prosecutors charged Dale LaVaughn Wolford Jr. with one count of assault on a law enforcement officer, alleging Wolford “attempted to kill or to cause serious physical injury” to the officer identified in court documents only as “Sergeant L”.
An 18-year-old, who turned himself in to police, is in custody and has not been charged yet. Dotson confirms “the officer [didn’t] get out of his vehicle”.
“He’s as much a victim as the police officer“, Wooten said of the teenager, who he said has never been in trouble before.
Almost 12 hours later, a St. Louis police officer was shot while sitting in his personal auto early Tuesday morning. The officer returned fire and may have hit one of the suspects.
The suspect vehicle began leaving the scene and the suspect who fired the shots ran on foot. Police say they found a hand gun that is being tested to see if it was used in the ambush.
St. Louis City Police Chief Sam Dotson described Wolford, 23, as “very unsafe”.
In Tuesday’s shooting, the off-duty officer – who is black – was sitting in his own auto shortly before 5:00 am while working an approved second job as a security guard in a posh neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants. He credited the vest with saving the officer. We have a lot to be thankful for. He was treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and released by 10 a.m. Police are actively searching for four African-American males who fled the scene in a gray or silver Ford Taurus. It is now being examined for evidence. Police are looking at the circumstances between the man who was shot and the vehicle but are not connecting the two yet.
Fox 2 added that the gunman could be between 18 and 22 years old with facial hair. “He has no interaction with them or conversation with them”, Dotson said.
The search for suspects is still underway.
According to a tweet from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, all four suspects are at-large.
Investigators planned to obtain footage from an abundance of surveillance cameras in the area, Dotson said.
“We can do better than this, St. Louis“, he continued.