Two police officers shot in the chest; Suspect barricaded [VIDEO]

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Two police officers were shot Thursday at around 7:30am in north St. Louis County. They were hit in the chest. Their bulletproof vest may have saved their lives.  The officers are conscious and speaking.

The incident occurred in Bellefontaine Neighbors at the intersection of Chambers and Bellefontaine roads.  One suspect is barricaded in a home in the 10100 block of Bellefontaine.  A tactical operations unit is on the scene.   They are trying to communicate with the suspect in the home.

Police were responding to the home after reports of shots fired in  Bellefontaine Neighbors Wednesday night. The details in that police call are not known at this point. But, a man who lives at the home was identified as a person of interest in the report of gunfire.

Officers got into an altercation with the man at the home. Neighbors told police that the man left the residence Thursday morning.  Officers caught up with him on Crete drive.  They tried to talk to the man.  The situation escalated and officers may have used a taser to apprehend him.  Police say he pulled out a handgun and shot both of the officers in their chests. Police returned fire and it isn’t known if the suspect was injured in the shooting.

Police say the 37-year-old man ran into a nearby home.  They are not certain the suspect lives at the home and have not yet made contact.  The home is surrounded and authorities are working to take the suspect into custody.

A staging area for first responders and media is set up at a church located a quarter of a mile away.  There is a heavy police presence at Chambers and Bellefontaine. Traffic is closed to the neighborhoods surrounding the standoff. Many people saw officers from many police departments rush to the scene on I-70 during their commute.

Initial reports stated that the suspect was armed with a rifle. Investigators say the suspect is well known to police. They say the suspect may own an AR-15 rifle.

Police say a 44-year-old male officer and a 25-year-old officer were injured in the shooting.  Reports indicate that both of the the officer’s injuries are minor.   There may be bruising where the bullets hit their vests.  They were taken to the hospital to be checked out.

More details will be posted as this story develops.

Read more: FOX2NOW

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