An off-duty black St. Louis police officer who joined the pursuit of individuals believed to have stolen a car ended up being shot by one of his white colleagues, reports say.
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch piece describes the Wednesday night incident but does not identify the officers involved by race. A local Fox affiliate’s report says the officer who fired his gun was white and the officer who was hit is black. Neither has been identified by name. The officer who was shot was reportedly treated at a hospital for an arm wound and released Thursday.
Both the Post-Dispatch and Fox say the off-duty officer left his house armed with his service weapon after hearing “commotion” related to the pursuit of the stolen vehicle, which crashed after its occupants reportedly fired shots at police. From the Post-Dispatch:
According to a department summary of the incident released later Thursday, two officers who encountered the armed off-duty officer ordered him to the ground. He complied. When they recognized the off-duty officer, they told him he could stand up and walk toward them.
Another officer just arriving at the scene saw the off-duty officer get up and, not knowing he was an officer, fired his weapon once at the man.
The officer who was shot is said to be an 11-year veteran of the force who is 38 years old; the officer who fired on him is said to be a 36-year-old who has been with the police department for eight years. Fox reports that the white officer told investigators he fired at his colleague because he “feared for his safety.”