Officer murdered while sitting in patrol car

Officer murdered while sitting in patrol car

This is a discussion on Officer murdered while sitting in patrol car within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; University City is a 'burb of St. Louis, generally a good area near Washington U., a prestigious university. Lots of preppy places to eat, lots ...

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Thread: Officer murdered while sitting in patrol car

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Near St. Louis, Missouri

    Officer murdered while sitting in patrol car

    University City is a 'burb of St. Louis, generally a good area near Washington U., a prestigious university. Lots of preppy places to eat, lots of sidewalk foot traffic, lots of students in the area. I've been there several times but not in a while.

    MyFox St. Louis | University City Officer Shot And Killed

    University City Officer Shot And Killed

    Last Edited: Saturday, 01 Nov 2008, 9:12 AM CDT
    Created: Friday, 31 Oct 2008, 11:41 PM CDT

    (KTVI - --
    A University City Police Officer is fatally shot while on duty in the Delmar Loop. The shooting happened on Leland Avenue near Delmar Boulevard just after ten Friday night. It is a tragic ending to a busy Halloween night on the Loop.

    Witnesses say they heard several loud popping sounds.

    One witness said, “We decided to come down and we saw a body on the ground in front of a police car.”

    Video from one witness shows EMTs picking the officer up and putting him on a stretcher. One EMT continues to give the officer CPR as he's being placed in the ambulance.

    With lights' flashing and hearts racing, witnesses tried piecing it all together.

    One witness told FOX 2, “From what I understand he was just sitting in his car when he got shot, somebody just came up and just shot him and took off in a vehicle.”

    Residents of the area say the spot where the officer was shot is a location where police will often park and do paperwork while keeping an eye on weekend crowds in the Loop. One witness reports seeing someone approach the officer, sitting in his parked car, and opening fire.

    A frightening thought for Dawn Telthorst, who works just a few doors down.

    “It doesn't make me feel safe. I work nights and I leave at 2-3 in the morning so it’s my safety I worry about and if people are going to shoot at cops what makes me think they aren't going to shoot me when I'm walking out of my work,” says Telthorst.

    “It could happen anywhere, but it is kind of sad when people start taking shots at authority like that. That just shows they have no respect for community or anyone else when they are shooting at police officers," says Ralph Gibson Jr.

    At last report there no suspects were in custody and police have no motive for the shooting. Police are looking for a 1993 gray Oldsmobile Cutlass with Missouri plates: 2AB-28J in connection with the shooting. They are also looking for a light colored four door Pontiac Grand Am.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    McKinney, TX
    Holy cow that is bold to do that.

    Prayers go out to his family and the students who will be afraid until they catch the BG.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt


  3. #3
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Terrible tragedy. My prayers go out to the officer and family.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Central Florida
    Sounds like a 'gang entrance exam'.
    I wonder if the police car had a camera running?
    Sad time for the officer's family.

    I'm sure the police will put plenty of 'extra' attention into this tragedy.
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  5. #5
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    He's probably sat there hundreds of times and felt safe. Just goes to prove, no matter where you are, and how safe you feel there, you need to practice SA. Condolences go out to the family.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Update: STLtoday - Police officer shot, killed

    They believe they know who did it, but not why. They do not have the shooter in custody at this time.

    Police officer shot, killed

    By Matthew Hathaway and
    Patrick M. O'Connell

    'He was a professional policeman, and he loved being a policeman.'

    UNIVERSITY CITY — Sgt. Michael R. King was about an hour and a half into his Friday night shift when he pulled into a parking spot on Leland Avenue, directly in front of the University Square apartments and only a few feet away from the bustling Delmar Loop.

    King, a 25-year University City police veteran, was sitting in his marked police car about 10:20 p.m. when police say a convicted drug dealer walked up to the car and fired several shots from a handgun, killing the sergeant.

    Police said the gunman, whom they identified as Todd L. Shepard, 41, jumped into a car and sped off west on Delmar, eluding a high-speed police pursuit. He remained at large late Saturday night.

    Investigators said they believe Shepard may have been driving a light-colored, four-door 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass with Missouri license plate 2AB 28J. Police also are looking for a white or light-colored Grand Am that may be involved.

    "We need the public's help; we need their help to capture him," University City police Chief Charles Adams said.

    King, 50, was married and had no children. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and a graduate of University City High School and Washington University.

    "Our hearts and prayers go out to his family," Adams said. "We're at a loss, just like they are."

    King, formerly a field training officer and an investigator in the detective bureau, often mentored young officers, the chief said. His family said he served as a St. Charles sheriff's deputy and a probation and parole officer before joining the University City department.

    "He was an extremely good officer, very dedicated and always did a great job," Adams said. "He was a professional policeman, and he loved being a policeman."

    Gail Bertke, a longtime friend of King and his wife, Susan, described the officer as "a good, patient and calm person, a good man … and a great friend."

    Bertke, of Crestwood, said King became a police officer because "Mike always liked to help people."

    Police said they knew of no motive for the shooting. Investigators were not aware of any history between Shepard and King, nor any incident between the two that preceded the shooting, police said.

    "As far as the what and the why," Adams said, "we haven't been able to determine that."

    Adams said Shepard was the only person sought in connection with the shooting.

    University City police are handling the search, but police officers across the area are on the lookout for Shepard and the vehicles, several police agencies said. The cars' descriptions were broadcast over police radios throughout the day Saturday.

    Shepard is well-known to University City officers, police said, and he has a record that includes guilty pleas to multiple counts of felony drug trafficking and second-degree assault in a 1990s University City case, according to online court records. Shepard last served two years of supervised probation for a 2004 misdemeanor assault charge, records suggest.

    King is the first St. Louis-area police officer killed in the line of duty since the Feb. 7 shootings at Kirkwood City Hall, when two police officers — Sgt. William Biggs and Officer Tom Ballman — were among the six public officials and employees who died after an attack by Charles "Cookie" Thornton. Maplewood firefighter Ryan Hummert, 22, was killed in a July 21 ambush, a shooting that also left two Maplewood police officers injured.

    The area of Delmar Boulevard near Leland is heavily traveled, with a Starbucks on the first floor of the apartment building, the popular Fitz's Root Beer restaurant across the street and a municipal parking lot nearby.

    The officer had not been parked there very long before the shooting occurred, police said.

    Another officer in the area heard the shots and rushed to the scene. King was not able to call for assistance.

    Several people interviewed said there had been a flurry of police activity in the area earlier in the day Friday. Police declined to say whether there had been any special operations under way or whether the officer's shooting could have had anything to do with any previous work in the area.

    Loop businessman Joe Edwards was at work and says he heard the shots about a block away. Edwards is president of the Loop merchants association and owner of Blueberry Hill at 6504 Delmar.

    "I heard shots, what I thought were shots," Edwards recalled. "It sounded like five or six, in a couple of bursts."

    Edwards looked out his office window. It was just before 10:30 p.m. But he described the scene as calm and quiet. He saw couples walking and a handful of other people strolling in costumes and enjoying the Halloween evening.

    Minutes later, Edwards walked downstairs into his restaurant, and the bar manager told him of hearing that an officer had been shot.

    Edwards, a fixture in the Loop community, knows most officers by name, including King.

    "It's just such a senseless tragedy," he said.

    He described the mood among businesspeople in the Loop on Saturday as one of sadness and disbelief. It was reminiscent, he recalled, of the feeling after a robber murdered former Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle Picus in her home 10 years ago a few blocks south of the Loop.

    "We have not had anything this severe for a long, long time," Edwards said.

    By Saturday, the Loop had mostly returned to normal, with people flocking to its stores and restaurants. Several people interviewed said they were unaware of Friday night's events.

    Merchants and residents of the Delmar Loop said the parking spot directly in front of the University Square apartments at 605 Leland — marked by a yellow sign proclaiming "Travel Safe Zone: Someone's Future is in Your Hands" — is almost always occupied by a University City squad car.

    "That's one of their connector spots," said Randall Wilson, an employee of a Delmar hair-cutting salon who lives in an apartment just west of the Loop. "You can always connect with an officer there."

    The timing and high-traffic location of the shooting has many wondering what happened. "It's especially weird that it happened on Halloween night," said Dwayne Garrett, a University Square resident. "Because the volume of people increases. For someone to take that kind of chance in front of all those people, something had to be going on."

    Garrett echoed the sentiments of more than a few workers and shoppers.

    "I feel pretty safe here," he said. "But if they'll shoot a cop, they'll shoot anybody."

  7. #7
    Member Array MsXD9's Avatar
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    What a terrible tragedy. Hope they get (the BG(s) What they deserve!! I feel for his family.

    [B]"When seconds count police are minutes away"!

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Prayers for Officer King's family and friends.

    Todd L. Shepard need to 'resist' arrest me thinks..........
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  9. #9
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Without words. There are lots of folks in this world who have no respect for life, no conscience, and no purpose. I have a lot of confidence that I will rid this world of at least one of them before my time is up. I won't be searching....they will find me, and when they do...I'll be ready.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Freedom Doc's Avatar
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    Let's just hope when the find the little ******* that he resists arrest and dies of lead poisoning. The best justice.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Prayers to the family! God willing, this dirtbag won't get to face a trial and the taxpayers will save a lot of money.
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom Doc View Post
    Let's just hope when the find the little ******* that he resists arrest and dies of lead poisoning. The best justice.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    When I was an Leo 24 years ago that was one thing I was taught by my FTO,when you are writing a report park in a place with plenty of open ground and don't get so engrossed in writing a report you don't check your 360 every few seconds.There are people that hate cops bad enought to try to kill you if they think they can get away with it.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  14. #14
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    I hate when people approach my car from behind for this very reason, this has happened a few times in my area.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    I hate when people approach my car from behind for this very reason, this has happened a few times in my area.
    If I approach a LEO sitting in a car to ask directions etc. ,I have my hands clearly visible and approach from the front ,at night I turn off my headlights and go to parking lights with interior light on when approaching
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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