St. Louis County Police placed a pair of patrol officers on administrative leave Monday morning after they opened fire, fatally wounding an area man while investigating a stolen vehicle report.
Robert Simon, 25, of the 1400 block of Trelane, was killed in the Dierbergs parking lot on Tesson Ferry Road, just before the vehicle he was driving struck a marked police vehicle.
Police spokesman Lt. John Belmar said both officers opened fire after the vehicle backed toward one officer, then reversed direction, heading straight toward an assisting officer who just seconds before had been standing where the vehicle struck the squad car.
Police responded to a disturbance call at 3:45 a.m. Monday at a gas station on Mattis Road near the shopping center.
Belmar said Simon had assaulted his girl friend and then had taken her car.
"They've had a troubled relationship over the last few months,'' Belmar said. "He has been wanted for questioning in relation to a July 17 shooting and was able to avoid an earlier attempt to bring him in. We believe the July 17 incident was related to drugs.''
St. Louis County Police have investigated 75 homicides in the last three years and have been involved "in a half dozen or so'' shootings during that time, Belmar said.
Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch is reviewing the incident.