WEST ALTON - St. Charles County Police Chief Kurt Frisz held a brief makeshift press conference Friday afternoon about the St. Charles County chase that ended in the field. The suspect in the case left his car and exchanged gunfire with police and was critically wounded. The suspect was rushed to an area hospital from the scene and had "life-threatening injuries," the chief said.
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"Earlier this afternoon we had a burglary in progress where a homeowner and a suspect exchanged gunfire," Frisz said. "As our officers responded to that call of shots fired, our officers responded and saw the vehicle with the suspect from the call. We attempted to stop the vehicle and it was running on one flat tire and and eventually we put out a spike strip and he then he hit it and had four flat tires.
"The suspect then went into the West Alton area. During that pursuit he was on the phone with some of our officers and said there was a female in the vehicle with him and he said 'lives would be lost' if police didn't back off. Our officers gave him a little bit of space and attempted to negotiate with the suspect. Once the suspect turned off and the chase ended in the farmer's field. The suspect jumped out of the vehicle and our officers returned fire.
"The officers are all fine; the suspect was reported to have life-threatening injuries. The relationship with the woman in the car is unknown; she is being interviewed right now, she is not hurt, but had a bit of a panic attack. The suspect flourished a gun at a number of passing motorists and we were afraid he would do a carjacking, fortunately the one motorist he directly confronted took off. Initially, the call was close to 4 p.m. and it was at a location off Highway H and 94 near St. Charles County Airport area, five to eight miles away from here. The suspect flourished a weapon at numerous motorists."
The most serious threat the suspect made with a motorist was one with a convertible, but the chief said thankfully that person left the scene quickly away from the suspect.