ST. LOUIS • Early Sunday morning, Daryl Hall was just another patron at the nightclub he frequented in downtown St. Louis, a couple blocks from Busch Stadium, police said.
Then the off-duty St. Louis police officer heard gunshots outside.
About 2:30 a.m., Hall, 34, left his girlfriend at The Label, at Fourth and Gratiot streets, and ran outside, spotting a man firing a handgun in an adjacent parking lot, police said.
Witnesses told police that Hall identified himself as a police officer, pulled out his own gun and order the man to drop his weapon. The gunman refused, police said.
Gunfire erupted between Hall and the gunman, with a nightclub security guard also opening fire, according to police.
When it was over, Hall had been fatally shot in the neck and arm. And the gunman, Asif Blake, 30, of Hazelwood, was dead from gunshot wounds.
Authorities recovered three guns at the scene. Homicide detectives interviewed the unidentified security guard, who was not injured, and released him.
Police said that shortly before the shooting, Blake and another patron were escorted from the nightclub for an altercation. The quarrel apparently continued outside. But Hall was not involved until he responded to the sound of gunshots, police said.
"He was not involved with any (incident) with anyone before the shooting," police spokeswoman Schron Jackson said.
Hall was assigned to the police housing authority unit. He joined the St. Louis force in July 2006 after graduating from the Police Academy. He began his career as a 6th District patrolman.
He is survived by his mother, stepfather and a brother, according to the Police Department. Funeral services were being finalized.
He is the first St. Louis police office fatally shot since officer Norvelle T. Brown was killed in August 2007. Last March, city Officer David Haynes was killed in a car crash while pursing a burglary suspect.
A co-owner of The Label, Chris Little, issued a statement noting Hall was a regular visitor at the bar.
"This tragedy has deeply hurt us as well as shed new light on the extreme issues that our community is facing each day with ignorance and crime," Little said.