St. Louis, MO – St. Louis County Police Department (SLCPD) Detective Antonio Valentine died in the line of duty Wednesday after a fleeing suspect slammed into his vehicle head-on, according to police.
The incident began at approximately 2 p.m. on Dec. 1 when SLCPD Drug Unit detectives tried to stop a black Volkswagen Jetta in connection with a drug investigation, KTVI reported.
The driver refused to pull over and took off westbound on Chambers Road at a high rate of speed, according to police.
Police later said the Volkswagen was reported stolen back in October.
Det. Valentine, 42, and another SLCPD detective headed towards the chase in their unmarked Dodge Caravan and came upon the suspect vehicle at approximately 2:10 p.m., KTVI reported.
The suspect then crossed over the centerline and slammed into the detective’s unmarked vehicle head-on, according to police.
The suspect was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, KTVI reported.
Both detectives were also transported to the hospital.
The second detective was treated and released, but Det. Valentine died of his injuries, KTVI reported.
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the loss of one of our officers, Antonio Valentine,” the SLCPD tweeted Wednesday night. “He passed away today in the line of duty.”
Det. Valentine served the SLCPD for 14 years.
He was also a U.S. Army combat veteran who previously retired from the Air Force Reserves, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Det. Valentine is a father of four, KSDK reported.
“What I ask of you all now is just grieve with us, support us, support the family for all that they are going through and we’ll get through this the best that we can,” St. Louis County Police Chief Kenneth Gregory said during a press conference, according to KSDK.
We are now assisting the family of Officer Antonio Valentine of the St. Louis County Police Department who died in the line of duty on December 1, 2021 as a result of injuries sustained from a vehicle crash. Read more here: https://t.co/AJA2oBstIm pic.twitter.com/smjLPXKFSM
— The BackStoppers Inc (@BackStoppers) December 2, 2021
Officer Valentine’s body, followed by dozens of officers of different agencies, leaving Barnes Jewish.
— Jenna Rae (@journalismjenna) December 2, 2021
— FBI St. Louis (@FBIStLouis) December 2, 2021
More of scene at Stl County Police Hdqs this morning in Clayton. Worker putting up black bunting over the doors as department continues to grieve the loss of Detective Antonio Valentine. BackStoppers is stepping up to help Valentine’s family including his children with expenses. pic.twitter.com/SJdCnP6zQk
— Chris Regnier (@chrisregniertv) December 2, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family St. Louis County Police Department Detective Antonio Valentine, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.