Wounded Mo. officer in stable condition after being shot in head

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His wife, Barb O'Connor, said: "He is the most unbelievable, dedicated, loyal police officer, father and husband". Klahs died of his injuries.

Police were called to a report of a gun stolen from a residence.

"At this point, the medical staff has relayed to the family that Officer O'Connor has a long road to recovery, and his condition could change by the hour", according to a written statement the St. Louis County Police Department issued today on behalf of the Arnold Police Department.

The suspect was being taken to the Arnold Police department when the officer was shot. O'Connor has been in law enforcement for more than twenty years, the last three in Arnold. Police were unaware that the suspect had a second gun that was apparently stolen from a vehicle. They say he was taken to surgery, is still alive, and in critical condition.

FOX C-6 Schools were on lockdown for a short time.

He said the shooting is under investigation but that the suspect "may have shot the officer, then himself".

The Jefferson County Sheriff Department is investigating, trying to determine how Klahs, who was handcuffed, was able to get a gun into the officer's auto and if Klahs then shot and killed himself. Police said he shot an officer on Tuesday afternoon. Two ambulances and over 20 police vehicles are in the emergency room drop-off area. Police are not certain where the suspect found the weapon used to shoot the officer.

It's likely that O'Connor, another officer, or maybe even both, patted down the prisoner, Chad Klahs, before putting him in O'Connor's police SUV, just as they had hundreds of others in their custody. Jefferson County Sheriff's Capt. Gary Higginbotham says the officer was shot on the back of the neck or head.

Higginbotham says the male suspect also was shot once in the head, though it isn't yet known if the wound was self-inflicted.

An eastern Missouri police officer is being treated for life-threatening injuries after being shot near police headquarters. He also worked for the Illinois State Police and St. Louis police. Highways near the shooting scene were closed so the Arnold officer could be rushed to a hospital.

The Arnold Police Department posted a thank-you message on its Facebook page, and asked the public to continue to hold O'Connor and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department is investigating. Backstoppers, an organization that supports the families of law enforcement and other first responders, has donated $5,000 to help O'Connor.

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