White police officer shoots off-duty black officer

Investigators on Astra Avenue Wednesday night

A black police officer has been accidentally shot by a white co-worker who "feared for his safety" in the while chasing a auto.

The St Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the shooting was a "friendly fire incident" but the injured officer's lawyer said he had been "automatically feared". He questioned the white officer's account, according to police, that he shot the off-duty officer because he feared for his safety.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis interim Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole originally told reporters that the off-duty officer had come out of his home after a auto that was reported stolen crashed nearby, and that he was hit in the crossfire between officers and the suspects who had been inside the vehicle.

"Two officers challenged the off-duty officer and ordered him to the ground, to which he complied".

The shooting came days after protests swept Minnesota over the acquittal of a police officer who shot a black man dead in front of his girlfriend and daughter in an incident broadcast on Facebook Live.

Police say the on-duty officers were following a stolen auto and that its occupants fired on them twice. Three people inside fled the vehicle.

Two of the actual suspects were apprehended and taken into custody after allegedly exchanging fire with police. Fortunately, the Black officer suffered a non-life-threatening injury and was later released from the hospital.




The St. Louis County Police Department said the auto crashed happened near the intersection of Park Lane and Astra Avenue in the North Pointe neighborhood.

"This happens to be the first time in the national discourse that we are aware of where a black professional law enforcement officer is shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street", Tate said. A third suspect is being sought.

The injured off-duty officer is described as a 38-year-old man with 11 years of service.

Local station Fox 2 Now reported that the incident began shortly after 10 p.m. when a police recognition system spotted a stolen auto from Maryland Heights, spurring the vehicle chase. His lawyer, Rufus J. Tate Jr., told local news outlets that he considers the incident more severe than a "friendly fire" accident.

It is not yet known who shot the officer. So we have a real problem with that.

The vehicle stopped near Park and Astra Avenues when police say shots were exchanged. Young - at the time the son of the department's highest-ranking black officer - was dressed in baggy jeans, an overcoat and a baseball cap, and he was carrying a gun. In 2013, according to online Federal Bureau of Investigation figures, only two officers were killed when mistakenly shot as a result of crossfire, mistaken for a subject, or involved in other firearm mishaps.

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