Man arrested, released only one week before being involved in the shooting of two police officers

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ST. LOUIS, MO – According to reports, one man who was involved in the shooting of two St. Louis police officers had been arrested one week before, but released from custody.

According to KSDK News, August Burns, 23, is facing charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest, after fleeing a traffic stop with two other men in St. Louis and then getting involved in a shootout with police.

Police attempted to pull over the men’s vehicle when they identified the car as connected to a fatal shooting 12 hours previously.

That shooting occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, January 26, KSDK reports.  At that time, four people were reportedly standing by their parked car near the entrance of the Royal Palace Restaurant in St. Louis.

Three men with guns approached the people, and demanded their property.  The thieves took “cellphones, cash, jewelry and a pair of glasses” from their victims.

At the same time, four nearby persons, and a security guard, began shooting at the robbers, one of whom was killed at the scene.

The remaining suspects drove off in a white SUV, which was spotted Wednesday afternoon, approximately 12 hours later, by St. Louis officers in north St. Louis.

According to a police press release as reported by KSDK, officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but it sped away.

Officers pursued the SUV into St. Louis County, where it crashed.

The suspects exited the vehicle, and at least one of them opened fire on the pursuing officers.  The officers returned fire.  Two officers were shot, as well as 23-year-old suspect Equan Hobson.

Both officers were hospitalized, and one remains in critical condition.

Hobson died at a nearby hospital.

According to a probable cause statement, Burns was in the back of the vehicle.  When he attempted to flee, a shotgun fell out of the SUV.  When arrested, he was found with an ammunition carrier that contained shotgun shells.

Another suspect, Clyde Thomas, 35, also attempted to flee, but he was caught and arrested.

Burns was charged with resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm, and is now being held on a $250,000 cash only bond.

Thomas was charged with resisting arrest and is being held on a $50,000 cash only bond.

Burns, at his arrest, was no stranger to St. Louis authorities, as he had been arrested just 8 days previously, and subsequently released.

At that time, his arrest was for “suspicion of distribution of a controlled substance, tampering and fleeing.”

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As reported by police, Burns was spotted in a car that was being sought in connection to a robbery in St. Louis.  A county police officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which was stolen.

Burns ran away from the vehicle, but was apprehended by police.  The county police officer found a felony amount of marijuana in the car.

However, KSDK reports that the prosecutors in the case took the charges under advisement.

According to Chris King, spokesman for St. Louis prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell, prosecutors were “awaiting more information from the arresting officer.”

King added:

“It’s an active and ongoing investigation so we can’t say more at this time.”

Later, in an apparent response to concerns over the release of Burns after his January 18 arrest, King stated:

“The ‘additional information’ we were waiting on included a completed and improved police report. You can’t issue charges without evidence. 

“We had no evidence to substantiate these other charges when he was released . . . or when he was allegedly involved in the subsequent incident.”

He continued:

“Any attempt to make us look negligent disregards the basic facts of criminal justice in terms of the evidence needed to ethically issue criminal charges. 

“His subsequent alleged conduct does not change our ethical burden, and our meeting our ethical responsibility to any defendant protects all our rights.”

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Police: Seattle man who took hostages, live-tweeted it has been arrested, released numerous times

Originally published January 26, 2022

SEATTLE, WA – A man in Seattle has been taken into custody after allegedly live-tweeting while he attempted to take hostages in a Target.

The man has a lengthy criminal history and has been released several times after his multiple arrests without bond.

The Seattle Police responded to a hostage situation at a Target in the Westwood Village after an unidentified suspect called 911 telling them he was going to take hostages.

The suspect allegedly informed 911 he was taking the hostages because he suffered from mental illness and was not getting the help he needed.

The incident began on January 21st just before 5 pm when the suspect called 911 stating that he was going to take a hostage at knifepoint but refused to tell them the location.

According to the police documents of the call, the suspect refused to tell 911 where he was headed because:

“He’ll just be sent back to the hospital & the hospital won’t assist & and will just release him.”

The suspect, who admitted to 911 that he needed mental health services, was allowed onto a bus after telling the driver he could not pay because he was homeless.

The bus took him to the area of the Target where he intended on arming himself with a knife and taking hostage so he could be on “national news.”

The suspect, who has not been identified as of yet, went inside of the store and asked a Target employee where the knives were located. After he went to the aisle where the knives were located, he removed one from its packaging and began his attempt at taking hostages.

Seattle police allege that the would-be victims fled the store while the suspect yelled:

“Stop, I’m holding you hostage…if I can’t get the help I need, I’m holding you hostage.”

The suspect allegedly approached others in the store and told them that he was taking them hostage and that he wanted to charge the police with the knife so they would kill him. Although the suspect was allegedly threatening people in the store with a knife, they all were able to leave unharmed.

A negotiator with the Seattle Police Department arrived on the scene and began talking with the suspect who was allegedly posting live updates on his Twitter account. One of the updates on his Twitter account said:

“Thanks to gun control and being poor no gun to take hostages with and 29+ ppl I tried to take hostage ran like mad.”

A couple of hours into the incident, the suspect can be heard on his live feed rambling:

“Well, this court case is going to be funny. No, I’m not representing myself. Yeah, I cannot do…I cannot represent myself for…I got super lucky that the prosecutor’s office…this bullshit charges on me on that one.

See my face is all messed up because I don’t have, I don’t have money for – man. So yeah, this will be fun for.”

That video cut off but another one just after 10 pm was posted:

“So this is a very unique barricade situation that I’ve created. So what happened is, I didn’t have access to guns because of being a felon, not having money and connections to buy off the street, would not be able to assemble a shotgun if I had the money to purchase the components, and in the 3D printer and whatever.

So this is, so we have in the criminal element, there’s no way even that comes even close to the understanding, a tactical and negotiation and having worked for a law enforcement agency. This is very unique.”

The Seattle Police Department was eventually able to safely take him into custody and end the standoff. He was taken to the King County Jail on charges of first-degree burglary.

The suspect has a history of taking people hostage and/or suicide by cop attempts. According to KTTH, the suspect has had a total of 11 suicide by cop attempts from July of 2018 through January of 2019.

Eight days before his attempt at taking hostages at the Target, he had been arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer. Instead of keeping him in jail or sending him to a mental institution, the judge released him without a bond.

Given this suspect’s history, it is clear that simply releasing him back out onto the streets is causing safety concerns not only for law enforcement but for everyone in the general public.

It would appear that the suspect either be kept in jail for his alleged crimes or placed into some type of in treatment mental facility to work on his issues.

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