Police-defunded St. Louis: Off-duty officer shot at after honking at group blocking street

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ST LOUIS, MO – According to reports, an off-duty police officer in St. Louis was shot at after he reportedly honked his horn at a group that was blocking the street earlier in June.

While the incident appears to be in no way influenced by the officer’s line of work, investigators do believe that the incident is also connected to a gunshot victim that provided conflicting statements regarding the circumstances of his injury.

On June 21st at approximately 10:40 p.m., an off-duty 42-year-old St. Louis Police officer was in his personal vehicle within the 3500 block of Birmingham Avenue when the off-duty officer came up on a group congregating in the street and blocking the roadway.

The off-duty officer reportedly honked his horn and then heard a myriad of gunshots ring out. The officer exited his vehicle, and saw a suspect directly firing shots at him. Luckily, the officer was not struck by said gunfire.

Authorities also note that the officer did not return fire on the suspect.

According to reports, the off-duty officer described the assailant that fired at him as being a male aged between 18 to 20-years-old.

Police have reason to believe that this incident involving the off-duty officer honking his horn and getting shot at is also connected to a 32-year-old man that suffered a gunshot wound at around the same time in the same general area.

The victim was reportedly found suffering from the sustained wound at an adjacent alleyway. 

The 32-year-old gunshot victim had reportedly given police numerous inconsistent accounts regarding the circumstances of his sustained wound to his lower body. Said gunshot wound victim was taken to the hospital and was last reported as being in stable condition.

Authorities have not released the name of the off-duty officer that was involved in the incident. As of this writing, no suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting at the off-duty officer or the gunshot wound victim.

This is an ongoing investigation. Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further details on this developing case.

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In other cases involving off-duty officers, police in New York City are searching for the suspects behind a group assault of an off-duty officer earlier in June that was captured on surveillance video. 

The incident has even compelled the NYPD Commissioner to have the Internal Affairs department look into the incident to ensure there isn’t anything police-related that played a role in the assault on the off-duty officer. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in June. 

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – The investigation into an off-duty NYPD officer that was attacked by group of men earlier in June has brought an intriguing development, with police believing that the group assault wasn’t random. 

According to officials, the off-duty officer that was attacked knew at least one of the attackers captured on surveillance video. 

On June 21st, a 33-year-old off-duty NYPD officer – who at the time was in plain clothes – was attacked by a group of men, with one of the assailants having used what investigators believe to have been possibly a broomstick to attack the officer. 

The incident occurred at approximately 11:40 a.m. at Bryant and Lafayette Avenues. 

A witness said that the off-duty officer had gotten into some sort of a verbal altercation with the group before the attack was launched: 

“He was just arguing with the person, talking and they started getting louder and louder.”

The witness, at the time of the assault, was oblivious to the fact that the victim was an off-duty officer due to his attire. 

As seen in the video, which has some jump cuts, the off-duty officer is seen standing outside of a bodega where a  group of men begin to surround him. The officer is shoved, and then the video cuts to instances where the officer is attacked with what appeared to be a broomstick.

Police say that the group involved in the incident consisted of approximately six men, however, surveillance video from the incident only depicts three assailants attacking the victim.

Officials say that the officer was transported over to Jacobi Medical Center, and was last noted as being conscious and alert.

Reportedly, the off-duty officer was familiar with at least one of the attackers, according to police officials, but the nature of that familiarity wasn’t expanded upon beyond that. 

However, whatever familiarity exists between the off-duty officer and one of the attackers caught on camera has attracted the attention of NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, which he’s having Internal Affairs assist with the investigation to ensure there isn’t any underlying matter that influenced this incident that’s police-related: 

“It’s very much under investigation by the detective squad from the 41st precinct, and I’m also having the Internal Affairs Bureau looking at the entire incident to make sure there was nothing that shouldn’t be happening there with our officers.”

Officials have not released the name of the officer injured during the incident, nor have any arrests been made as of this writing. 

Anyone with information about the incident or at-large suspects are urged to to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

Those with information on the case can also submit tips to the Crime Stoppers website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. As always, tipsters can choose to remain anonymous when submitting tips.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further details regarding this developing case. 

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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It’s not just police that are coming under attack while off-duty, but even firefighters. 

Earlier in June, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on a firefighter that was non-fatally shot while helping out a vagrant that was being harassed by a group of people. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PUEBLO, CO – An off-duty firefighter who assisted a homeless man that was being harassed by a group of people on the street was shot, and now the Pueblo Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating the shooter. 

According to reports, on Sunday, June 6th, police responded to a call around 12:25 a.m. in the 100 block of North Main Street. When police arrived, they discovered a man had been shot in the leg.

During the course of their investigation, police learned that the victim of the shooting was an off-duty Pueblo firefighter who was with a group of other off-duty firefighters.

Police said the victim witnessed at least one person harassing a homeless man who was experiencing a mental health issue. The victim helped the homeless man and the person who was harassing the homeless man left the area, Fox 31 reported.

Pueblo police said that a short time later, one of the suspects who was harassing the homeless man returned to the scene and fired several rounds at the firefighter from a car that was parked outside of a nearby establishment. 

The firefighter was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to Pueblo police.

Detectives with the Pueblo Police Department first identified 41-year-old Esteban Gallegos, as the suspect.   

Police said an arrest warrant was issued for Gallegos for one count of first degree assault and eight counts of attempted first degree murder.

However, after new information was discovered, police were able to rule Gallegos out as the shooter. The arrest warrant that had been obtained was cleared and the Pueblo Police Department no longer viewed Gallegos as a suspect. 

Fox 31 reported that detectives have recovered the vehicle involved in this incident and are asking the community for help in locating the owner, 41-year-old Tonya Albach-Ortega. Albach-Ortega is described as a White female, 5’01”, 178lbs. with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the whereabouts of Albach-Ortega. Anyone with any information is urged to call Detective Ryan Torres at 719-320-6037.

To remain anonymous, contact Pueblo Crime Stoppers at 719-542-7867 or www.pueblocrimestoppers.com.

Another manhunt is underway for a suspect that shot a police officer in Colorado. 

In that incident, an officer made a traffic stop with two motorcycles around 8 p.m. Friday night in the parking lot of an Autozone store on N. Nevada Avenue. When the officer approached the riders, Sedillo shot at the officer before fleeing on the motorcycle.

Law Enforcement Today reported that an arrest warrant has been issued for 25-year-old Jacob Aaron Sedillo of Colorado Springs. He is charged by detectives with attempted first-degree murder.

Sedillo is described as a white Hispanic male, 5’11” tall, about 165 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen driving a motorcycle away from the scene of the shooting.

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