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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Associated Press - November 1, 2008 2:43 PM ET

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (AP) - A police officer in a suburb of St. Louis, Mo., has died after being shot in the town's popular University City Loop area.
The shooting happened late Friday in suburban University City's Loop area, known for trendy shops, restaurants and offices.
The University City police department said in a statement Saturday that officers were searching for a man who was seen in a gray car.
One witness told KTVI-TV that the officer was sitting in his car when a man walked up and shot him.
Investigators hadn't determined the motive for the shooting.
The dead officer's name was not immediately released.

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Man who killed St. Louis officer at large

By Matthew Hathaway, Patrick M. O'Connell
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. -- Sgt. Michael R. King was about an hour and a half into his Friday night shift when he pulled into a parking spot on Leland Avenue, directly in front of the University Square apartments and only a few feet away from the bustling Delmar Loop.
King, a 25-year University City police veteran, was sitting in his marked police car about 10:20 p.m. when police say a convicted drug dealer walked up to the car and fired several shots from a handgun, killing the sergeant.
Police said the gunman, whom they identified as Todd L. Shepard, 41, jumped into a car and sped off west on Delmar, eluding a high-speed police pursuit. He remained at large late Saturday night.
Investigators said they believe Shepard may have been driving a light-colored, four-door 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass with Missouri license plate 2AB 28J. Police also are looking for a white or light-colored Grand Am that may be involved.
"We need the public's help; we need their help to capture him," University City police Chief Charles Adams said.
King, 50, was married and had no children. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and a graduate of University City High School and Washington University.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to his family," Adams said. "We're at a loss, just like they are."
King, formerly a field training officer and an investigator in the detective bureau, often mentored young officers, the chief said. His family said he served as a St. Charles sheriff's deputy and a probation and parole officer before joining the University City department.
"He was an extremely good officer, very dedicated and always did a great job," Adams said. "He was a professional policeman, and he loved being a policeman."
Gail Bertke, a longtime friend of King and his wife, Susan, described the officer as "a good, patient and calm person, a good man ... and a great friend."
Bertke, of Crestwood, said King became a police officer because "Mike always liked to help people."
Police said they knew of no motive for the shooting. Investigators were not aware of any history between Shepard and King, nor any incident between the two that preceded the shooting, police said.
"As far as the what and the why," Adams said, "we haven't been able to determine that."
Adams said Shepard was the only person sought in connection with the shooting.
University City police are handling the search, but police officers across the area are on the lookout for Shepard and the vehicles, several police agencies said. The cars' descriptions were broadcast over police radios throughout the day Saturday.
Shepard is well-known to University City officers, police said, and he has a record that includes guilty pleas to multiple counts of felony drug trafficking and second-degree assault in a 1990s University City case, according to online court records. Shepard last served two years of supervised probation for a 2004 misdemeanor assault charge, records suggest.
King is the first St. Louis-area police officer killed in the line of duty since the Feb. 7 shootings at Kirkwood City Hall, when two police officers - Sgt. William Biggs and Officer Tom Ballman - were among the six public officials and employees who died after an attack by Charles "Cookie" Thornton. Maplewood firefighter Ryan Hummert, 22, was killed in a July 21 ambush, a shooting that also left two Maplewood police officers injured.
The area of Delmar Boulevard near Leland is heavily traveled, with a Starbucks on the first floor of the apartment building, the popular Fitz's Root Beer restaurant across the street and a municipal parking lot nearby.
The officer had not been parked there very long before the shooting occurred, police said.
Another officer in the area heard the shots and rushed to the scene. King was not able to call for assistance.
Several people interviewed said there had been a flurry of police activity in the area earlier in the day Friday. Police declined to say whether there had been any special operations under way or whether the officer's shooting could have had anything to do with any previous work in the area.
Loop businessman Joe Edwards was at work and says he heard the shots about a block away. Edwards is president of the Loop merchants association and owner of Blueberry Hill at 6504 Delmar.
"I heard shots, what I thought were shots," Edwards recalled. "It sounded like five or six, in a couple of bursts."
Edwards looked out his office window. It was just before 10:30 p.m. But he described the scene as calm and quiet. He saw couples walking and a handful of other people strolling in costumes and enjoying the Halloween evening.
Minutes later, Edwards walked downstairs into his restaurant, and the bar manager told him of hearing that an officer had been shot.
Edwards, a fixture in the Loop community, knows most officers by name, including King.
"It's just such a senseless tragedy," he said.
He described the mood among businesspeople in the Loop on Saturday as one of sadness and disbelief. It was reminiscent, he recalled, of the feeling after a robber murdered former Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle Picus in her home 10 years ago a few blocks south of the Loop.
"We have not had anything this severe for a long, long time," Edwards said.
By Saturday, the Loop had mostly returned to normal, with people flocking to its stores and restaurants. Several people interviewed said they were unaware of Friday night's events.
Merchants and residents of the Delmar Loop said the parking spot directly in front of the University Square apartments at 605 Leland - marked by a yellow sign proclaiming "Travel Safe Zone: Someone's Future is in Your Hands" - is almost always occupied by a University City squad car.
"That's one of their connector spots," said Randall Wilson, an employee of a Delmar hair-cutting salon who lives in an apartment just west of the Loop. "You can always connect with an officer there."
The timing and high-traffic location of the shooting has many wondering what happened. "It's especially weird that it happened on Halloween night," said Dwayne Garrett, a University Square resident. "Because the volume of people increases. For someone to take that kind of chance in front of all those people, something had to be going on."
Garrett echoed the sentiments of more than a few workers and shoppers.
"I feel pretty safe here," he said. "But if they'll shoot a cop, they'll shoot anybody."
Steve Giegerich, Paul Koehler, Mark Learman and Michael Sorkin of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

Wire Service

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Reward offered in finding Mo. officer's killer

U. City group, FBI each put up $10,000 to catch killer of U. City police officer.

By Patrick M. O'Connell
St Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Police are using a $20,000 reward to try to find the killer of Sgt. Michael King, but both their suspect and an explanation for the Halloween night ambush remained elusive Monday.
University City police said they were still looking for Todd Shepard, 41, who is not charged in the case but is identified on bulletins as "armed and dangerous."
King, 50, in uniform, was parked at the curb on Leland Avenue just off Delmar Boulevard in the bustling Delmar Loop at about 10:20 p.m. Friday when someone approached his marked squad car and shot him in the head. The gunman fled in a car.
The funeral for King will be at 10 a.m. today at the First Presbyterian Church, 7200 Delmar Boulevard.
The search for Shepard has stretched to Nebraska, where authorities have been looking for him since Saturday because he has family there. But University City police Capt. Mike Ransom said Monday that investigators believe Shepard is more likely still in the St. Louis area.
Officials have not said how they zeroed in on Shepard, and insist they do not know a motive. "We do not have the why," Ransom said.
Police said Shepard is the only suspect sought. He most recently lived in Berkeley, Ransom said, and had been at a residence there in the hours before the shooting.
Public records show an address for Shepard on Hancock Avenue. Several neighbors told a reporter Monday they were not familiar with Shepard. Many houses on the block are either vacant or occupied by transients, neighbors said. One man said he had seen Shepard's photo on TV but had never seen him before.
Police said Shepard was driving a gray 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass four-door with the Missouri license plate 2AB28J at the time of the shooting.
Investigators said Shepard has two other running vehicles registered to him: a white 1989 Chevrolet Corsica, Missouri license 840YKC and a white or blue 1996 Cadillac Deville, Missouri license PA1D4J.
The Parkview Gardens Association, a group of landlords, business owners and residents in the east end of University City, put up a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of King's killer. The FBI posted $10,000 more.
King, a 25-year veteran of the department, had been assigned to monitor foot and street traffic on Halloween night.
Police Chief Charles Adams said Monday the best way for investigators to honor the fallen officer is to catch the killer. "There's no place we're not looking for him," Adams said.
King was the 10th officer killed in the line of duty in the past decade among various departments in St. Louis County, and the third this year. St. Louis city police lost six officers in the same period.
King became the fourth University City officer killed on duty, joining Officer Wilbert J. Downey in 1969, Detective James E. Boevingloh in 1970 and Officer Francis J. Graham in 1976.
Anyone with information about the murder is asked to call police at 314-725-2211, or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.

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Premium Member
2,371 Posts
Real tough guy to ambush the unsuspecting Sergeant. When they find this guy, hopefully he leaves feet first.

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mo. shooting suspect spoke of killing officer

By Robert Patrick and Patrick M. O'Connell
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. - The suspect in last week's shooting of a University City police sergeant frequently spoke of killing an officer "and ending the unfair treatment of blacks and lower-class people by the government," according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Todd L. Shepard, 41, has not been charged with the murder of Sgt. Michael King, but was charged in federal court in St. Louis with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is in custody.
The only firearm mentioned in the charging documents is a stolen five-shot .38-caliber revolver that King's killer dropped in his parked patrol car after the Halloween night ambush in the Delmar Loop.
University City police began looking for Shepard almost immediately, although they would not say how he became a suspect. They did say they had no idea why he would kill King, with whom they said he had no history.
The department had no comment Wednesday on the federal charges.
An affidavit filed in court by Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent John McGarry lays out the shooting and investigation this way:
After another University City officer heard the shots and approached the shooting scene, a witness pointed to a gold or tan Oldsmobile Cutlass and yelled, "That's him! That's him!"
That officer chased the car but was unable to pull it over. He did get a license number that was traced to a woman in Berkeley whom the agent identified as Shepard's girlfriend.
She told investigators she had lent Shepard her car earlier Friday, and that he had left at 9 p.m., saying he was going to Wellston.
She also said that she had braided his hair, which fit with the description of the man in the Oldsmobile. She said she had talked to him by cell phone at about 10 p.m. She also said she received a frantic, garbled phone call shortly after the time of the shooting, the affidavit says.
Investigators found Shepard's cell phone discarded in front of a building on the route taken by the fleeing Oldsmobile.
Shepard's girlfriend also told investigators that Shepard "frequently spoke of killing a police officer and ending the unfair treatment of blacks and lower-class people by the government."
Shepard had pleaded guilty in the early 1990s to felony drug dealing and assault charges. As a convicted felon, he cannot legally possess a firearm.
He has been assigned to a federal public defender, but the office declined to comment.
Some police officers told a reporter that colleagues who had encountered Shepard in the past said he seemed to suffer from mental health issues.
No one answered the phone at a number for Shepard's girlfriend on Wednesday. On Saturday, a woman who answered the phone there said she did not know Shepard.
King, 50, was in uniform and parked in a marked car along Leland Avenue just off Delmar Boulevard about 10:20 p.m. Friday when someone walked up and shot him four times, according to police and court documents.
King - a 25-year veteran of the force, husband, hunter, fisherman, world traveler and mentor to younger officers - was laid to rest Tuesday.
That afternoon, a Missouri Highway Patrol officer stopped the eastbound Oldsmobile on Interstate 70 in Lafayette County, about 30 miles east of Kansas City, for making an unsafe lane change.
Patrol Sgt. Dan Green said the driver handed over a license with the name Todd Shepard, and the trooper recognized it from wanted bulletins on the police radio.
No weapon was found in the car, Green said. Shepard was alone and did not resist arrest.
Green said University City police picked up Shepard from the county jail in Lexington and said they planned to obtain a search warrant for the car.

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A St. Louis County man is being charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of University City Police Officer Michael King on Halloween.

The suspect in the case is 41-year-old Todd Shepard of Berkeley, Missouri.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch would not speculate on motive or whether he is considering the death penalty.

"At this stage on our case right now our allegation is that he shot Sergeant King causing his death. We have not gone into and won't go into specifics about the evidence in the case," says McCulloch.

Shepard is the chief suspect in the murder of Michael King, a 25-year police veteran.

U-City Police Chief Charles King says moving forward with the case is helping the department mourn its loss.

"It was extremely important toward our healing, but its like anything else, when you lose a member of your family it takes awhile to recover," says Adams.

King was shot with a stolen gun while sitting in his patrol car.

Shepard is also being held on federal drug charges and will be arraigned on Tuesday.
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