01/30/2004

St. Louis Officer Killed, Another Wounded in Shooting

Officer Down: Joe Mokwa - [St. Louis, Missouri]

BY JIM SUHR, The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A 24-year-old St. Louis police officer was killed Friday in a shootout that also left a suspect dead and a second officer wounded.

The second officer was in surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Names of all three men had not been released.

Police Chief Joe Mokwa said the second officer, who is 26, was expected to survive. Both officers have been with the department for a few years, the chief said.

"This is an extreme tragedy for the department and all law-abiding citizens of the city of St. Louis," Mayor Francis Slay said. "There's not a whole lot you can tell the family of a police officer who has been shot, and one of whom has been killed."

The shooting happened early Friday afternoon in the city's Central West End. Police said two other suspects were still being sought. Police blocked off streets in the search for the suspects.

Details on what led to the shootings were not immediately released.

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