ST. LOUIS >> Authorities have arrested two men suspected of wounding two St. Louis police officers in an attack that also left a 24-year-old woman in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head.
Acting Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said Friday evening that the third victim was in her home directly behind the officers when they were attacked.
The woman’s mother identified her as Tamara Collier and said she was wounded when a bullet went through their back door and struck her while she was doing laundry, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She said she returned from a store after seeing police in the neighborhood and found her daughter lying in a pool of blood.
A 35-year-old male officer and 32-year-old female officer were treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds to their legs and hands and facial wounds caused by shrapnel. They were in stable condition.
O’Toole said the suspects are 22 and 24 years old and have criminal records. He described them as violent offenders but didn’t provide further details. Authorities recovered a handgun and an assault rifle that they believe was the weapon that fired the bullet that struck Collier.
The injured officers are members of a unit that investigates gang crimes. O’Toole said they were patrolling the area in their car and were “ambushed” by the suspects. He did not say how the suspects were taken into custody other than it occurred without more shots being fired.
“They’re firing an assault rifle like this in a highly urban area — obviously they have total disregard for the safety of anyone other than themselves,” O’Toole said.
Relatives told the newspaper that Collier was scheduled to start a new job Tuesday as a certified nursing assistant at a veterans’ nursing home. Her mother, Mia Caddell, said Collier’s 1-year-old daughter was at home at the time of the shooting but wasn’t hurt.