Sheriff Dan Bullock of the St. Francois County Sheriff Department in Missouri sadly reports the death of Deputy Sheriff Paul Clark.
Deputy Clark, 55, was on patrol back on October 27th of last year and stopped to investigate a vehicle near several pickup trucks off the roadway in a wooded area. There had been recent reports of vehicles being vandalized and thefts from within vehicles in the area.
Deputy Clark stopped the vehicle that had three occupants in it. The driver failed to produce any identification and he attempted to take him into custody. The suspect broke away from Deputy Clark and ran to a pickup truck, started it and ran over Deputy Clark throwing him several feet into the air.
As the suspect fled in the truck, Deputy Clark drew his duty weapon and shot at the suspect, however he missed. Deputy Clark was able to call for assistance and held the two remaining suspects at gunpoint until backup could arrive.
The Missouri State Police assisted the Sheriff’s Department in the search and a Trooper located the suspect and vehicle. The suspect rammed the Trooper’s patrol unit and a high speed pursuit followed.
The suspect fled down several country roads, abandoned the vehicle and continued to flee on foot. K-9 officers and SWAT teams also joined in the search as well as the U.S. Marshal’s Office as the suspect was wanted on a Federal Parole Detainer. The suspect driver was located several hours later and taken into custody without further incident.
Deputy Clark was transported to Mercy Memorial-Jefferson Hospital in serious condition. He was treated and released that night, however he returned the following day still complaining of pain. Additional testing showed that Deputy Clark’s back had been broken in the crash.
Deputy Clark underwent back surgery and was recuperating at home. He experienced complications from his surgery, collapsed and stopped breathing. An ambulance was called and emergency first aid and basic life support was provided to Deputy Clark, however he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Deputy Clark started his law enforcement career at the Park Hills Police Department and served their several years until joining the St. Francois Sheriff Department. Deputy Clark had served in every capacity and service unit at the Sheriff Department. He was assigned to the Civil Service unit at the time of his death. Deputy Clark is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren.
Deputy Paul Clark-gone, but never forgotten. EOW: Monday, July 4, 2016.
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