St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) Officer Tamarris Bohannon died in the line of duty on Sunday night after being shot in the head while he was responding to a call the night prior.
The events that led up to the 29-year-old officer’s murder began at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Aug. 29, when the SLMPD received a report of a shooting at a residence in the 3700-block of Hartford Street, KSDK reported.
Sources told the news outlet that a male suspect at the home positioned himself on an upper level of the residence and opened fire on the officers when they arrived to help the person who had allegedly been shot, according to KSDK.
Officer Bohannon was shot in the head during the attack, police said.
The second officer was hit in the leg.
Both officers were rushed to St. Louis University Hospital, where Officer Bohannon was taken into surgery, KSDK reported.
Meanwhile, police swarmed the Tower Grove South neighborhood, closing off streets and warning residents to stay inside their homes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Investigators learned that the alleged gunman was a homeless man who had forced his way into the home of Steve and Mimi Haag and ordered them out of the house at gunpoint, KSDK reported.
The couple said they believe they were saved by their “guardian angels,” according to the news outlet.
“He could have very easily just shot the both of us and he didn’t,” Steve Haag said. “I just thank God for protection.”
Officers negotiated with the barricaded gunman for hours before he was taken into custody sometime before 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Sources said the unnamed 43-year-old suspect is wanted for attempted sexual battery and kidnapping out of Florida, and that he also has a history of drug offenses in the St. Louis area, KSDK reported.
He served approximately two years in prison for one of his prior drug charges, according to the news outlet.
The 30-year-old officer who was shot in the leg has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
SLMPD Chief John Hayden told reporters on Sunday afternoon that Officer Bohannon was in “grave condition.”
Shortly after 4:30 p.m., Chief Hayden sent out a department-wide email explaining that the young officer’s condition had “quickly deteriorated,” KSDK reported.
Officer Bohannon succumbed to his wounds just before 8 p.m.
He leaves behind his wife, Alexis, and their three children, all of whom are under the age of 10, KSDK reported.
“It is with great sadness we share the loss of Officer Tamarris ‘T’ Bohannon, affectionately known as ‘Bo’ by is squad of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department,” the fallen officer’s family said in a written statement, which was posted to Twitter by the SLMPD.
He served the department for over three years.
“He is a hero to many but most importantly to his loving wife and three incredible children,” Officer Bohannon’s family said. “The loss of this great man is felt deeply within the St. Louis community and we ask for your prayers and support in the days ahead.”
The St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) described Officer Bohannon as a “difference maker” who sought to help everyone in his community “because they mattered,” KSDK reported.
“The unnecessary sacrifice of this dedicated public servant should be mourned by all because his life mattered,” the SLPOA said. “We will never forget or fail to honor his dedication or the sacrifice of our brother in blue, Tamarris L. Bohannon. Godspeed, Bo.”
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said she was “heartbroken” over the young officer’s murder, which she called a “terrible, senseless tragedy,” KSDK reported.
“I’ve had the privilege of spending some time with his family under these extraordinarily challenging circumstances,” Krewson said in a statement. “They’re wonderful people and immensely proud of the way he selflessly served and protected our community with distinction and honor for more than three years.”
“This is a horrific reminder of the dangers our brave men and women willingly face every day to keep us safe,” the mayor continued. “I ask that everyone please continue to keep Officer Bohannon, his loved ones, friends and colleagues, and the entire St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in your thoughts and prayers.”
— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) August 31, 2020
A procession of @slmpd police cars is lining up on Chouteau near SLU Hospital presumably to escort the body of Officer Tamarris Bohannon who died tonight from a gunshot wound he received Saturday while responding to a call. @KMOV pic.twitter.com/zi9U0HgTbn
— Russell Kinsaul (@russellkinsaul) August 31, 2020
Officer Tamarris L. Bohannon dedicated over three and a half years of service to the citizens of the City of St. Louis.
— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) August 31, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Tamarris Bohannon, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Tamarris Bohannon, your life mattered.