11/27/2006

Mo. police shoot 13-year-old, arrest 6 others after chase

By Kim Bell
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis police shot and wounded a 13-year-old boy and arrested six other teens after a crime rampage and car chase early Saturday, according to police.

The youths, in a vehicle stolen from the Chrysler plant in Fenton, were being chased by Pagedale police after a burglary of a flea market on St. Charles Rock Road. The chase went along Interstates 70, 44 and 55.

St. Louis police joined the pursuit in the city. About 2:30 a.m., the suspect's vehicle hit two St. Louis police cars. One officer was slightly injured, was treated at a hospital and released.

The chase ended at Jefferson and Lafayette avenues at the western edge of the Lafayette Square neighborhood when the suspects crashed into a pole.

The youths bailed out of the vehicle and ran. As St. Louis police chased them, one boy, 13, reached into his waistband and pointed what appeared to be a handgun at an officer, police said. A St. Louis police officer fired at him, hitting him in the hip, leg and arm.

Detectives investigating the shooting say a Pagedale officer also fired his weapon but claimed to fire only warning shots.

Authorities say the unidentified youth's injuries were not life-threatening; he was in stable condition at a local hospital.

The teen's gun turned out to be a toy revolver. He also had a starter pistol, which had been stolen in the flee market burglary.

Police also found a toy handgun in the stolen vehicle.

Six male teens, ranging in age from 13 to 16, were arrested. One of them, 14, was treated for a head wound he apparently suffered in the crash.

Police think the stolen vehicle had been used earlier in a burglary attempt at Bull's Eye, a firing range and gun shop at 5100 Manchester Avenue. Someone used a vehicle to ram metal garage doors in the front of the building and at the rear loading dock, but did not get inside the store, where handguns and rifles are stored.

Jim Stephens, the owner of Bull's Eye, said whoever rammed the garage doors never got out of the vehicle.

Police said pieces of a vehicle left at the Bull's Eye lot appear to match the stolen car involved in the chase.

Copyright 2006 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Inc.
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