Police: Avoid scammers raising money for injured Mo. officer

Police said the callers identifying themselves as Fundraisers for First Responders have not been approved to collect funds on Officer Ryan O'Connor's behalf


By Erin Heffernan
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — They called with claims of good cause: a fund benefiting injured Arnold police Officer Ryan O'Connor, who was shot in the line of duty Tuesday.

But local police departments are warning that the callers identifying themselves as Fundraisers for First Responders have not been approved to collect funds on O'Connor's behalf.

The Maryland Heights Police Department said it was alerted to the fake fundraising Saturday morning, according to a social media post by the department.

The callers were claiming they were "former first responders helping an injured officer," according to the department.

Maryland Heights police clarified that no police department would call to solicit money. If you get a similar call, hang up, police advised.

Arnold police said Thursday that O’Connor’s family has approved three ways to send donations: a GoFundMe page, in person at Fortune Bank in Arnold and donations to BackStoppers Inc., made in O’Connor’s name.

O'Connor was shot by Chad Klahs, 29, of Arnold, on Tuesday afternoon while O’Connor was driving Klahs to police headquarters to be booked on a variety of charges, including a home burglary.

Klahs was handcuffed but had a concealed .40-caliber handgun he used to shoot the officer before fatally shooting himself inside the police SUV outside Arnold police headquarters.

O’Connor has been with the Arnold Police Department for three years out of a law enforcement career spanning 20 years. He is a married father of four boys, ages 4, 6, 11 and 17.

Arnold Police said O’Connor was still in critical condition Saturday after undergoing multiple surgeries, but was showing signs of neurological improvement.

 

This morning we were alerted that a company identifying themselves as, "Fundraisers for First Responders" has been...

Posted by Maryland Heights Police Department on Saturday, December 9, 2017

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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