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Suspects charged in ambush shootings of police officers in St. Louis and Georgia

July 9, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Suspects charged in ambush shootings of police officers in St. Louis and Georgia

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A police officer in suburban St. Louis remained in critical condition late Friday after suffering gunshot wounds to the neck following what officials called an ambush attack during a traffic stop.

Dash-cam footage captured the moment an unidentified officer was walking back to his car after during a routine traffic stop after having an initial conversation with a driver he had just stopped for a driving infraction on Friday morning, the Daily Mail reported.

Ballen Police Chief Kevin Scott said at that moment, the motorist “advanced quickly” behind the unsuspecting cop before firing off three rounds.

Scott said the officer “had no chance at all to pull his handgun and was completely helpless. The incident left the officer “fighting for his life” at a Creve Coeur hospital located west of St. Louis.

The suspect immediately fled the scene but was captured several miles away by another police department after ditching his car and attempting to flee on foot.

On Friday, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said the suspect identified as 31-year-old Antonio Taylor, who is a black male, was charged with assault of a police officer, a felon in possession of a firearm and armed criminal action.

Taylor served prison time for a prior conviction on a federal weapons charge and was paroled in 2015.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said of the attack, “Make no mistake: We believe during this investigation that Ballwin officer was ambushed, period.”

Officials said evidence suggests the attack was unprovoked, and the video showed no sign of any dispute between the suspect and the nine-year veteran police officer leading up to the gunfire.

“I can’t even begin to speculate” about a motive, including whether the shooting had racial overtones,” Scott said.

The shooting came on the heels of Thursday night’s deadly sniper attack in Dallas that saw 12 police officers shot, five fatally, another seven wounded and injuring two innocent bystanders by a heavily armed suspect during a demonstration over this week’s police-related shooting deaths of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

A similar attack also occurred in Georgia after a police officer answering a 911 call of a break-in of a vehicle was shot by the man he was there to help.

According to WCTV, officials in Valdosta, Ga. said 22-year-old Stephen Paul Beck opened fire on Officer Randall Hancock after he made a fake 911 call to report that someone had broken into his car on Friday.

Hancock was allegedly shot multiple times by Beck as he got out of his vehicle before he returned fire hitting the armed suspect.

Both the white officer and Asian suspect are in critical condition but are expected to survive. Charges against Beck were still pending Friday as he was being treated at a Florida hospital, said Police Spokesman Scott Dutton.

The string of attacks on police officers in Dallas, Ballwin, and Georgia, followed by another ambush in Tennessee over a 24-hour period, prompted law enforcement officials across the nation to implement precautionary safety measures.

New York City Mayor Bill Di Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that officers would work in pairs for the immediate future as a result of the Dallas incident.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson also announced similar measures and mandated all officers to wear bullet-resistant vests when on duty outside of police stations.

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