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Hero Down: Bonne Terre Police Officer Lane Burns Murdered By Gunman

Bonne Terre, MO – Bonne Terre Police Department (BTPD) Officer Lane Burns was murdered in the line of duty early Thursday morning while responding to a disturbance call.

The incident began at approximately 12:24 a.m. on March 17, when Officer Burns and BTPD Corporal Garrett Worley were dispatched to a disturbance at the Motel 6 on Highway K in Bonne Terre, Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) spokesperson Corporal Dallas Thompson told the Daily Journal.

They were approaching the door of the hotel room where the disturbance had been reported when a man came outside and opened fire on them, Cpl. Thompson said.

Both officers were shot in the attack, the Daily Journal reported.

Despite their wounds, they returned fire and killed the gunman.

The suspect was later identified as 21-year-old James Emery, KMOV reported.

Cpl. Worley, 28, was airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis with a gunshot wound to his lower leg, the Daily Journal reported.

The seven-year BTPD veteran was undergoing surgery early Thursday morning.

Officer Burns was rushed to Parkland Health Center in critical condition, Cpl. Thompson said.

Bonne Terre Police Chief Doug Calvert later confirmed Officer Burns succumbed to his wounds at approximately 1:46 a.m., the Daily Journal reported.

“Lane didn’t make it,” Chief Calvert said. “They tried.”

Officer Burns, 30, served the Bonne Terre Police Department (BTPD) for approximately five years, KSDK reported.

He previously worked for other agencies before joining the police department, the Daily Journal reported.

Officer Burns’ fiancé, Shannon Chasteen, said she was listening to the police scanner when the disturbance call came in and soon heard an alert go out about two officers being injured, according to KMOV.

The BTPD is a small department comprised of 10 full-time officers, six part-time officers, and four auxiliary officers, WPSD reported.

“This is a very small community. They might have been the only two officers on duty tonight,” Cpl. Thompson told KSDK.

Chasteen said investigators soon broke the news to her that her fiancé had been murdered, KMOV reported.

“He loved what he did and he loved the department that he worked for,” Chasteen told the news outlet. “From what I’ve been told by the hospital and other officers, he went down with a fight.”

Officer Burns also leaves behind his nine-year-old daughter, KMOV reported.

“He died protecting his community and his fellow officers,” Chasteen wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “I love you Lane, and I know that you’re still with me. I know you’re watching over your daughter, your family, your police officers, and I.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bonne Terre Police Department Officer Lane Burns, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Officer Lane Burns, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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