A gunman is in custody after allegedly shooting two law enforcement officials in southern Missouri in what authorities have described as an ambush.
A sheriff’s deputy and Missouri state trooper were serving an eviction notice in the town of Van Buren on Friday, Aug. 19, when the armed resident opened fire.
“Officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol were assisting the Carter County Sheriff’s Department at a residence in rural Carter County near Van Buren, Missouri,” MSHP officials wrote in a statement. “After attempting to contact the occupant, a male suspect began firing from inside the residence.”
Officials cited by KCTV News said bullets struck the deputy in the leg, groin, and chest, while the trooper was shot in the shoulder area and a round hit his bulletproof vest.
The gunman then barricaded himself in the home and engaged law enforcement in an hours-long standoff, which ended when the suspect surrendered.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol announced on Friday evening that the alleged shooter had been taken into custody.
“The suspect in the Carter County officer-involved shooting has exited the residence and surrendered to a Highway Patrol SWAT team,” the MSHP wrote on Twitter.
The suspect in the Carter County Officer involved shooting has exited the residence and surrendered to a Highway Patrol SWAT team.
— MSHP Troop G (@MSHPTrooperG) August 16, 2019
Both officers were transported to a local hospital where they were being treated for their injuries. Patrol spokesman Sgt. Clark Parrott told KCTV that both men were wearing bulletproof vests at the time of the attack.
Corporal Dallas Thompson of the highway patrol told ABC News that the deputy remained in hospital in stable condition while the trooper was treated and released.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson described the attack as an “ambush” on local law enforcement.
“A @MSHPTrooperG Trooper & Carter County Sheriff’s Deputy were ambushed by a gunman from inside a residence today. Both officers were wounded & are hospitalized. Missouri officers are devoted to making our state safer despite the risks they face every day,” Parson tweeted Friday afternoon.
A @MSHPTrooperG Trooper & Carter County Sheriff’s Deputy were ambushed by a gunman from inside a residence today. Both officers were wounded & are hospitalized. Missouri officers are devoted to making our state safer despite the risks they face every day. #BacktheBlue
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) August 16, 2019
Police have not yet released the name of the suspected gunman.
Carter County is located about 150 miles southwest of St. Louis.
Off-Duty Officer Shot in the Head at Fast Food Restaurant
The incident follows the case of an off-duty law enforcement officer who was shot in the head at a fast food restaurant in California.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was at the counter in a Jack in the Box in Alhambra on June 10 when a man walked up and shot him in the head.
The gunman ran out of the restaurant after the shooting, which was captured on surveillance footage, Sheriff Capt. Kent Wegener told reporters.
“There is no audio in the video, so we don’t know if words were exchanged,” Wegener said, reported the Pasadena Star-News. “He was off-duty in civilian clothes. There was nothing that would indicate that he was a law enforcement officer. He wasn’t wearing uniform pants. He wasn’t wearing uniform shoes. He did not have a holster or identification exposed. He was off-duty.”
The gunman was spotted driving from the scene of the shooting in a white four-door Kia Sorento SUV with temporary paper license plates.
Surveillance footage obtained from a house near the restaurant showed the man stop the car, change out of his clothes, a red shirt, blue jeans, a light fedora hat, and sunglasses, into a black T-shirt and dark jeans, before getting back into the same car and driving away, according to KTLA.
The gunman was described as a white or Latino male in his 20s, standing around 5 feet 10 inches tall.
The critically injured deputy is a 13-year veteran of the department, reported the Los Angeles Times. He was rushed to County-USC Medical Center and was in critical condition.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
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Author: Tom Ozimek