Suspect in St. Louis police officer ambush killed in shootout
Updated Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. with video from Chief Dotson — St. Louis Metropolitan Police officials say the suspect in the ambush of a police officer has been killed in a shootout. Chief Sam Dotson said 19-year-old George P. Bush III was shot hours after he pulled up beside a marked police car near the Hampton Village Shopping Center in south St. Louis and shot a 46-year-old police sergeant, who was released from the hospital Monday morning.
"The individual that we believe is responsible for shooting a police officer tonight was confronted in this neighborhood," Dotson told reporters early Monday morning near the intersection of Smiley and Leola avenues, in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood.
"He again shot at police officers and officers returned fire, striking him and he is deceased," Dotson said. "The man was known to police. He was believed to have been involved in several robberies and possibly a homicide over the past couple of days.
"We believe that he knew that he was good for those crimes and that we were looking for him. That's why he aggressively attacked a police officer tonight," Dotson said.
Bush was out on bond for a 2015 felony resisting arrest charge. Court records list a last-known address in Lindenwood Park, where he was killed.
On Monday night, hundreds of people gathered near St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in southwest St. Louis to honor the police officer who was shot. They held a blue ribbon from the church to intersection where the officer was shot.
Dotson told St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum said the officer was released from the hospital earlier on Monday:
A sergeant with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is expected to survive after being shot twice in the face Sunday night.
Chief Sam Dotson said the 46-year-old officer, was driving southbound on Hampton between Tilles Park and the Hampton Village shopping center around 7:30 p.m.when he encountered traffic.
As the sergeant slowed his marked vehicle, Dotson said, a car pulled up on his left side, and the driver, later identified as George P. Bush III, pointed a gun at the officer.
"The officer says he saw the muzzle flashes and felt the glass breaking in his window as the shots came through and struck him in the head," Dotson said in a press conference at Barnes-Jewish Hospital that the department broadcast on Periscope.
Dotson said the sergeant could only describe the shooter's vehicle as a silver car that fled east on Pernod. He said the department was scouring the area for video footage, and had called in additional department resources to hunt for the suspect. He said he had also talked with St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and Bret Johnson, the head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
"It’s a very dangerous job, and when officers are driving down the street and are ambushed, it makes us all take pause," Dotson said.
Mayor Francis Slay, who joined Dotson at the briefing, called the shooting a traumatic event for the officer, his family and the city.
"He didn't deserve this," Slay said of the unnamed officer, a 20-year veteran of the force who is married and has three children. "He was protecting our streets, and was shot twice without provocation. This tells you how much we have to appreciate our police officers."
The department's officers will ride two to a car until further notice, Dotson said. He and the mayor are urging anyone with information to call the police department or St. Louis Regional Crimestoppers.
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