ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man who police say has admitted to being the getaway driver during an ambush shooting that wounded a uniformed St. Louis police sergeant has been charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer.
Prosecutors also charged 27-year-old Edward Davis on Wednesday with armed criminal action in connection with the pre-dawn gunfire Tuesday that injured the officer as he sat in his personal car. That 39-year-old officer, a 16-year St. Louis police veteran identified in court documents only as “Sergeant L.,” was treated at a hospital and released.
Another suspect, an unidentified 18-year-old, surrendered to police Wednesday and has not been charged. His attorney, Jermaine Wooten, told The Associated Press on Thursday that his client was in the backseat of the car and had no role in the shooting.
“He’s as much a victim as the police officer,” Wooten said of the teenager, who he said has never been in trouble before. “He was just riding and had no idea what was happening until all the shots were going off.”
Wooten said he anticipates also representing one of two other suspects who as of Thursday morning were at large, and that he planned to arrange that man’s surrender.
The officer was working security as a second job in the city’s tony Central West End neighborhood when a gunman masked by a bandanna emerged from the front passenger seat of a car occupied by three others and opened fire on the officer’s private vehicle, peppering the windshield before the officer returned fire.
The suspects’ car sped away, and the gunman fled on foot.
The motive for the attack was unclear. Police Chief Sam Dotson has called it an ambush and said the goal was to “assassinate” the officer, who along with the four suspects is black.
The officer’s body armor saved his life, Dotson said.
Robert Jauer, a St. Louis police investigator, wrote in a probable-cause statement attached to the criminal complaint against Davis that Davis admitted driving the getaway car and was in possession of that vehicle’s keys.
Online court records do not show whether Davis has an attorney.