A police officer is "fighting for his life" after he was shot during a traffic stop this morning in Ballwin, Missouri, according to the city's police chief.
The incident, which was caught on police dashcam, happened around 11 a.m. local time on Friday when an officer pulled over a vehicle for speeding, Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott said at a news conference this afternoon.
After speaking with the driver, the officer went to his car to do paperwork, Scott said, and then the driver exited his vehicle, approached the officer's car, fired three shots, returned to his vehicle and fled.
Residents and witnesses in the area called 911 to report that the officer had been shot, the police chief said. The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition this afternoon.
The suspect, who had been driving a blue Ford Taurus, was later tracked down and taken into custody without incident after a brief foot pursuit. A semi-automatic handgun, which officials believe was the weapon used to shoot the Ballwin officer, was recovered at the time the suspect was apprehended, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. The St. Louis County Police Department is leading the investigation into the shooting.
The suspect, Antonio Taylor, a 31-year-old black man who was paroled in 2015 after serving time on a federal weapons charge, was charged with assault of a police officer, armed criminal action and a felon in possession of a firearm, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said Friday, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities have not yet named the wounded officer, and the criminal complaint identifies the officer only as "M.F."
Though officials said they were not yet sure about the suspect's motive, Belmar said investigators believe the officer was "ambushed."
He added that it was a "sad day for law enforcement," especially after the tragedy the night before in Dallas, where five police officers were slain. Several community leaders — including Rep. Ann Wagner, whose district includes Ballwin, and Steve Stenger, the St. Louis County executive — and area police departments expressed support for Ballwin's police and the injured officer.
We stand with Ballwin pic.twitter.com/26r0toe6Gi— Chesterfield Police (@ChesterfieldPD) July 8, 2016
Please join me in praying for the @BallwinPolice officer shot this morning & all our law enforcement officers. May God bless & protect them.— Ann Wagner (@RepAnnWagner) July 8, 2016
Thank you to all agencies for quick response and investigation in Ballwin. @stlcountypd Suspect apprehended and weapon recovered.— Steve Stenger (@StengerSTLCo) July 8, 2016
My thoughts and prayers are with the Ballwin officer who was shot in the line of duty today.— Steve Stenger (@StengerSTLCo) July 8, 2016
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.