Police officers in three different states have been ambushed around the time-frame of the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead and many others injured. Officers were shot in what authorities described as “ambushes” in Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia Friday.
A Ballwin, Missouri, police officer is clinging to life on Friday after being shot during a traffic stop. The officer stopped a speeding car at about 11 a.m., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. As the officer was walking back to his car, the suspect exited his vehicle and walked briskly towards the officer. He then fired three shots at the officer.
“Make no mistake, we believe that Ballwin officer was ambushed,” St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told the local newspaper. The suspect fled in his vehicle but was captured a few miles away. A pistol was recovered from the vehicle. The suspect has a previous felony record and is currently on probation on a gun charge. He was also on probation for a stolen vehicle charge in Oklahoma from 2011. In 2015 the suspect was paroled in California on a firearms charge. The suspect was not identified by name or description and a motivation for the “ambush” was not given.
In a shooting described by CBS News as “similar to the Dallas ambush,” A Bristol, Tennessee, police officer was shot by a man who allegedly killed one other person and injured two others. Preliminary findings by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) indicate the suspect, 37,year-old Lakeem Keon Scott may have been targeting people and officers because he was “troubled by recent events involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country.” Soctt was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol, a local CBS affiliate reported. This shooting took place on Thursday morning, before the Dallas shooting took place.
A Valdosta police officer was shot on Friday morning while responding to a call of damage to an apartment complex, NBC11 reported. The suspect reportedly called police reporting his vehicle had been broken into. When Officer Randall Hancock responded Hancock allegedly exited his vehicle with a handgun and fired on the Valdosta officer. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Officer Beck was shot in the abdomen, beneath his protective vest. He returned fire striking the suspected gunman.
Hancock and Beck were taken to a local hospital. Officer Beck is reportedly in serious condition while the suspect is listed as stable, the local NBC affiliate reported. Georgia police are searching for Beck’s car which was described as a 2009 silver Nissan Sentra with Georgia license plates, PVW 814.
Twenty-six police officers have been killed by gunfire across the United States in 2016, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.