ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
A St. Louis police officer was shot six to eight times this morning after making a traffic stop on the city's north side, police said, and the shooting was captured on two videotape systems.
Police have not released the wounded officer's name but said he remained in critical condition. Sources identified him as Officer Joseph Haman. That was confirmed by plans at St. John Vianney High School, where he graduated in 2002, to dedicate the Sunday service to pray for Haman's speedy recovery.
Charges of first-degree assault on a police officer and armed criminal action were filed late today against Arvon Lamont Brown, 24, of the 7500 block of Thelma in St. Louis.
The probable cause statement with the charges, in St. Louis Circuit Court, says two witnesses identified Brown as the man who fired at Haman.
Brown was taken into custody shortly before 7 p.m. in teh 5600 block of Delmar Boulevard.
The Circuit Attorney’s Office issued warrants against him for 1st Degree Assault on A Law Enforcement Officer and Armed Criminal Action. The suspect is being held without bond.
While being taken into custody, Brown repeatedly resisted arrest as officers attempted to cuff him, according to a police spokeswoman. She said that an officer used a Taser but the resistance did not cease. After a continued struggle, he was finally successfully handcuffed, and brought to police headquarters. About 7:40 p.m., an ambulance was called to police headquarters at the suspect’s request.
Haman, 26, stopped a car with four people inside at 8:30 this morning at Natural Bridge and Grand at a service station and convenience store. The officer got the driver out of the car and was talking with him on the passenger side when the officer and a backseat passenger exchanged words.
The passenger opened fire on the officer, who dived over the hood of his car to take cover and returned fire. He emptied his 16-round magazine toward his attacker, a police source said.
Both the store's security cameras and the officer's camera mounted in his patrol car captured the incident on tape, both video and audio, said Police Chief Dan Isom.
The driver and two of the three passengers in the car were in custody, and police said they believe they knew the identity of the shooter and were searching for him, Isom said.
A large number of St. Louis police, including sharpshooters, surrounded a two-story brick house Union Boulevard and Enright Avenue about 2 p.m. It appeared to be connected to the officer's shooting, but officials would not confirm that. Later, police said the standoff ended peacefully and that the man who surrendered was not a suspect.
Family members told a reporter that the man who refused to come out of the home is mentally ill. They said police also confronted two of his brothers outside the house and that one received hospital treratment thereafter for a diabetic condition.
Police did not say what led them to the address with a large number of officers, including sharpshooters.
Vianney staffers are sending e-mails to alumni asking them to pray for Haman. He was a National Honor Society student, participated in the school's drama program, was a football player and member of the school's wrestling team, said spokeswoman Carol Dexter.
"We're extremely proud of his service in the Marines and to the city of St. Louis," she said.
Football coach Gene Gladstone worked with Haman for his last two years on the school's varsity team for which Haman played as an offensive lineman. Gladstone described Haman as the "underdog."
"He was undersized as a player, but he had no hesitation to compete against guys who were bigger and more physical than him," Gladstone recalled. "He stood out because he was a great kid who was gung ho about everything he did. he was gun ho about going to Iraq to serve his country and I'm not surprised to see him put himself in harm's way for the people of St. Louis. He had been back to visit a number of times after his deployment to Iraq. From all I know of Joe, he would be a guy that was taking a chance to do something good for other people."
Sunday's service will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Vianney's Chapel.
Shortly before 1:30 p.m., Soldan High School went on lockdown after police said a possibly armed suspect was involved in a hostage situation at a home near the school. The school dismissed at 2:10 p.m.. School officials believed the hostage situation was connected to the officer's shooting.
Haman "did an amazing job, now we need to pray for his recovery," Isom said. None of Haman's injuries were considered life-threatening.
"This is an outstanding officer doing a lot of good work," Isom said.
Doctors told investigators that some of the eight gunshot wounds that Haman suffered include gunpowder burns, which mean the shooter was within three feet of the officer during the attack, sources said. Police do not believe the shooter or any of the other three men who were in the car at the time were injured.
The officer has undergone surgery to repair a perforated intestine. He also suffered a broken leg and a broken arm, but is expected to make a full recovery, a police source said.
They said surveillance images from the scene show the shooter getting out of the back seat of the driver's side of the car , firing at the officer with a pistol .
Haman is married, does not have any children and is from a family of city police officers, the sources said. His father is a retired police officer and his cousin also is a city officer.
Haman has been with the department since October 2008 and is assigned to the 5th District. As he was being wheeled to the operating room, he was alert and conscious and tried to signal a "thumbs-up" to other officers.
"He's doing remarkably well considering he was shot six to eight times," the police source said.
Police did not know why Haman had stopped the car. Isom said the officer's bulletproof vest saved his life.
The shooting happened about 8:30 a.m. at a combination service station and convenience store in the 3700 block of North Grand Boulevard near Natural Bridge Avenue, said police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross. A dispatcher's radio call said, "An officer needs aid."
The shooting happened near the Fairground Park neighborhood.
Last month, a Rock Hill police officer was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call. Officer Matt Crosby was shot April 8, with the bullet entering his shoulder and lodging in his spine.
In March, St. Louis police Officer David Haynes was killed in the line of duty in a four-car traffic accident while chasing a burglary suspect. Haynes, 27, died in the accident on March