Officer Shot In Head By Handcuffed Suspect From Back Of Police SUV
Arnold, MO – A handcuffed suspect
shot an Arnold police officer in the head from the back of the police
vehicle he was being transported in on Tuesday.
29-year-old Chad Klahs had been arrested on Dec. 5 and was being taken
to the police station for booking when he drew a weapon the officer had
not found during his search of the suspect, and shot Officer Ryan
O’Connor in the back of the head as he drove.
Officer O’Connor lost control of his police SUV and it crashed into the back of the Arnold police station.
The suspect shot himself in the head after he shot Officer O’Connor, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Captain Gary Higginbotham said.
was rushed to St. Anthony’s Medical Center where he was immediately
taken into surgery. Klaus was pronounced dead at the same hospital.
The suspect was
being transported by Officer O'Connor, 44, after he was arrested in a
burglary investigation at a home not far from the police station, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
said a gun was taken in the burglary, and Klahs reportedly broke into a
random vehicle as he was attempting to run from police, and stole
another gun from that car.
Police took one gun
from Klahs when they searched him prior to putting him in the back of
Officer O’Connor’s police vehicle, but missed the second weapon he had
Officers inside the
Arnold Police Department station house, located at 2101 Jeffco
Boulevard, said they saw Officer O'Connor's SUV approach the sally port,
where suspects are brought inside, on a surveillance camera.
O'Connor didn't come inside, officers went out and found his SUV crashed
into a fuel tank, and both the officer and the burglary suspect
suffering from gunshot wounds, the Post-Dispatch reported.
The officer's condition "does not look good," Capt. Higginbotham said Tuesday evening.
has been with the Arnold police for about three years, and had
previously worked in St. Louis County and Ferguson, police said.
Records from the
Missouri Department of Correction showed that Klahs has an extensive
criminal record. He has been in prison four times, and was most recently
released in March after serving two years, KMOV reported.
He pleaded guilty
to burglary charges from 2009, and was sentenced to eight years in
prison. He served a little more than one year before being granted
In 2012, he stole an Xbox from a woman’s home, and also tampered with a witness.
According to KMOV,
the victim was a witness to one of Klahs’ crimes, and reported receiving
several threatening phone calls every day, three or four times an hour.
Klahs threatened to “kill him” and “shoot up” his house, records said.
Klahs has also pleaded guilty to drug charges.
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