St. Louis fires police officer involved in Illinois shooting
Bryan PourST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
UPDATED, 11:25 a.m.
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said this morning it has fired one of the St. Louis city police officers involved in Sunday's shootings outside a Pontoon Beach tavern. Bryan Pour, a probationary police officer, was fired for his involvement in the case, said department spokeswoman Erica Van Ross.
Pour was fired Monday, but the department didn't disclose that fact until Tuesday.
Another probationary police officer remained in critical condition this morning from wounds suffered in the incident. A lawyer for Pour identified that officer as Christopher Hantak.
The department has placed three other officers on administrative leave while the Illinois State Police and the city police department's internal affairs unit investigate further.
Pour, who shot and critically wounded a man outside a Pontoon Beach bar, was released from custody without criminal charges Monday. Pour, 28, was a rookie assigned to the 4th District, according to Albert S. Watkins, a lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
OUR EARLIER STORY
City officer in Illinois shooting released pending investigation
By Jeremy Kohler
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
PONTOON BEACH — An off-duty St. Louis police officer who shot and critically wounded a man outside a Pontoon Beach bar was released from custody without criminal charges Monday while Illinois State Police investigate further.
The officer is Bryan Pour, 28, a rookie assigned to the 4th District, according to Albert S. Watkins, a lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
Watkins said Pour was defending himself against two men who were beating him, and that a shot he fired mistakenly wounded a man who had come to his aid.
The lawyer had no information on how a second city officer, whom he identified as Christopher Hantak, came to be shot by Pontoon Beach police called to the disturbance.
Authorities did little to clear up a murky public understanding of the disturbance early Sunday morning at Mac N Mick's Sports Bar & Grill, 5240 Nameoki Road, which involved at least several area police officers.
What was revealed officially:
— About 1 a.m., a St. Louis officer shot a 25-year-old man in the parking lot, critically wounding him.
— A Pontoon Beach police officer responded, and shot and critically wounded the second St. Louis officer.
For the second day, police department officials did not release the identities of the people involved. Watkins said he did not know the name of the man Pour wounded. Employees and patrons of the bar declined to speak with a reporter.
Watkins said Pour graduated tops in his St. Louis Police Academy class in July. A police spokeswoman did not respond to a request to confirm the claim.
St. Louis police have identified the wounded officer only as 23, with three months on the department.
Watkins said Pour and Hantak and two other city officers were celebrating the birthday and wedding engagement of a fifth city officer. The site was chosen because the officer has friends and family in the area.
Watkins said Monday that before the shooting, some of the officers may have been involved in an argument with other tavern patrons.
He said Pour told him he went to the parking lot about 1 a.m. and was hit in the forehead with a pipe. He briefly came to and found himself being beaten by two men. During the assault, Pour pulled his department-issued 9mm handgun from the back of his waistband and fired. How many shots was not known.
Pour missed his attackers but struck someone who was trying to help him by pulling off the attackers, Watkins said he was told by police.
Watkins said he was not told what led to the shooting of Hantak by a Pontoon Beach officer. Pontoon Beach police deferred inquiries to State Police.
A news release from Illinois State Police on Monday said Madison County State's Attorney William Mudge's office would, at a later date, present information about the incident to a grand jury in Madison County. Police did not take questions.
Said Watkins, "They're going to be very deliberate in evaluating this, and not rush to judgment."