Standoff ensues after 2 police officers shot near St. Louis

Two police officers were shot in the chest Thursday morning in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, but their bulletproof vests appeared to have saved their lives, officials said.

In the wake of the shooting the suspect barricaded himself in the house where he was believed to live, and police haven’t made contact with him since.

The uniformed members of the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department were injured in an encounter with a gunman around 7:15 a.m. local time, but expected to survive, according to Sgt. Shawn McGuire of the St. Louis County Police Department.

McGuire said the incident began when the department received a call Wednesday night about shots fired in the suburb. Police were unable to locate the person related to the report, but they remained in the area overnight near a residence where they thought the shots potentially came from.

In the morning, police received a call from a neighbor who saw someone leave the house. Two officers located the individual, a 37-year-old man, walking down the street and tried to have a dialogue with him, according to McGuire.

The officers ultimately attempted to take the man into custody and a scuffle ensued. At some point, the man took out a firearm and shot the officers, McGuire said.

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP
Police officers work the scene where two St. Louis County officers were shot and a man barricaded himself inside a home, Dec. 14, 2017, in the St. Louis County town of Bellefontaine Neighbors, Mo. Officers are trying to negotiate his surrender.

Ballistic vests worn by the officers blocked the rounds of gunfire but they still suffered some injuries. Both were hospitalized for treatment and evaluation, according to McGuire.

St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Benjamin Granda said the vests appear to have been “instrumental” in limiting the officers’ injuries.

One of the officers is a 44-year-old sergeant with 22 years of law enforcement experience who has been a member of the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department for eight years. The other is a 25-year-old woman who has served with the department for three years, according to Granda.

The firearm used to shoot the officers has not yet been recovered, McGuire said. The St. Louis County Police Department was on scene assisting with the barricaded suspect.

ABC News’ Rachel Katz and Josh Margolin contributed to this report.

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