10/17/2007

Ill. chief shot during traffic stop

By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ALORTON, Ill. — The Alorton police chief was shot during a struggle with a man after a traffic stop went bad on Tuesday afternoon, according to Illinois State Police.

Authorities say Robert Cummings, the police chief, attempted to arrest a male suspect driving a late model Cadillac during a traffic stop. The suspect, according to police, resisted arrest. A struggle ensued, and gunfire was exchanged.

Cummings was grazed on his arm and treated at the scene for minor injuries. The male suspect was shot multiple times and taken to St. Louis University Hospital.

His condition was unknown late Tuesday.

The scene unfolded shortly after 3 p.m. on Missouri Avenue near the East St. Louis city limits.

Two other people — a woman and a child — were in the suspect’s vehicle during the gunfire exchange. Both were not injured.

A Centreville police officer was also present and not harmed.

Illinois State Police Sgt. James Morrisey said he couldn’t comment on exactly what occurred, specifically who fired first. Also unclear is why the car was being stopped.

Morrisey did say several guns were recovered at the scene.

Officers were preparing police reports late Tuesday.

Copyright 2007 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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