ST. LOUIS • A confrontation between an off-duty officer and another patron outside a sports bar in the Tower Grove South neighborhood led to a shooting early Friday that injured them both, authorities say. Both were reported to be in stable condition.
At a news conference Friday morning, police said the officer, 32, was hit in the wrist and arm on the parking lot of Bomber O’Brien’s Sports Bar & Grill, 4621 Beck Avenue.
After the officer was hit, another officer returned fire, police said. Four officers had been in the bar.
The parking lot shooting was captured on surveillance video, but the video isn’t being released to the public, Police Chief John Hayden said. He said the blood-alcohol levels of those involved would be part of the investigation.
The officer who shot the other patron used his department-issued gun, Hayden said. That officer, 25, has been on the force for a year. The injured officer has been on the force for 10 years.
A man who identified himself as the father of the bar patron told reporters that his son, 22, had got into an argument with the off-duty officer. His son was hospitalized but, he said, authorities weren’t allowing him to see his son. Police said he was shot in the legs and shoulder. They also said the his gun was recovered.
The man, Frank Demanuele Jr., told KTVI that the altercation may have started inside the bar when someone spilled drinks on someone. The fight apparently then continued outside; a vehicle on the parking lot appeared to have bullet damage.
According to police call logs, there was a call for a shooting at 1:26 a.m. Friday at Beck Avenue and South Kingshighway. A minute later, at 1:27 a.m., there was a call to police for “officer in need of aid” at Beck and Kingshighway.
It took eight hours for the St. Louis Police Department to provide a detailed account of what happened and acknowledge that an officer was hurt. The department’s command post refused to release any specifics or answer questions. The chief met with reporters at about 10 a.m.
The St. Louis Police Department’s Force Investigation Unit is in charge of the probe.
Hayden said at least four police officers for the St. Louis Police Department were at the bar when the shooting happened.
“From what I understand, they were ... eating and drinking at the bar at the time,” Hayden said. “All four were off duty.”
Hayden said he wasn’t sure how many of the officers have made statements to investigators yet describing what happened. He said he doesn’t know what led to the shooting or whether the officers had identified themselves as police.
Asked what the department’s policy is about officers consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm, Hayden replied: “The policy is about drinking responsibly, whether you’re armed or not. And that’s the policy that we have. BAC content is part of all of these investigations, so we will know that information.”
Hayden said he expected police to seek charges against the suspect for assault. The name of the suspect has not been released.
Read about crime statistics in the Tower Grove South neighborhood here.
Christine Byers of the Post-Dispatch staff contributed to this report.