Shooting suspect dies after standoff with St. Louis police

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 ~ Updated 1:55 PM
St. Louis police search for a gunman Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in St. Louis. St. Louis police say two federal marshals and a police officer have been shot during a gunfight that left another man wounded at a home. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden)

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Two federal marshals and a police officer were wounded Tuesday in a gunfight at a St. Louis home, and a suspect later died following a standoff, authorities said.

One marshal was shot in the head and is in critical condition, said William Sibert, the U.S. marshal for eastern Missouri.

Sibert said the marshals and police were trying to take a suspect into custody at a house on the city's south side when the man fired, prompting authorities to return fire. Neither he nor St. Louis police have said what the man was a suspect for or why he was being arrested.

St. Louis police confirmed in a statement that a "male suspect is deceased." The brief statement did not explain who the man was or how he was killed.

Talking to reporters outside the house, Sannita Vaughan said her brother was the dead suspect who had been holed up inside.

"All we know is, they killed him," Vaughan said as relatives tried to shield her from the media crush.

Sibert said a second marshal was shot in the ankle and undergoing surgery Tuesday afternoon. A police officer working with the marshals was wounded by a bullet that grazed his face, he said.

St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom said the officer was expected to recover and be released from the hospital Tuesday.

"Our hearts, our thoughts and prayers go out to the officers and their family members right now," he said.

Along with the graze wound, the police officer was hit in his bullet-proof vest and injured when he fell down some steps after being wounded, Isom said. But he said he didn't have all the details on what had happened.

St. Louis police searched for a gunman today in St. Louis. St. Louis police say two federal marshals and a police officer were shot during a gunfight that left another man wounded at a home. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden)

"We're in the beginning steps of any investigation, the details are sketchy," Isom said.

Officials have not released the names of the marshals, police officer or suspect.

Earlier Tuesday, city police spokeswoman Schron Jackson said police were involved in a standoff at the property, but she had no more information.

Police cordoned off several blocks on every side of the house with police tape in the neighborhood in a poorer section of the city's south side. They blocked access to the property with police cars and vans.

Television video footage from KTVI in St. Louis showed one marshal being carried down an alley by several officers and being put into an ambulance.

There has been no word on any arrests.

Earlier Tuesday, Vaughan told reporters that her brother was inside the house and had been shot by police. She looked into television cameras and implored her brother to come out and surrender.

As police began to disband, bystanders appeared inflamed and began shouting obscenities at police. One officer with a police dog tried to quell the tempers.

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Associated Press writers Margaret Stafford in Kansas City, Kan. and Christopher Leonard in St. Louis contributed to this report.

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