Missouri Officer Shot in Head by Handcuffed Suspect From Back of Police Car

December 6, 2017 Updated: December 6, 2017

A Missouri police officer was shot by a man who was in custody, according to reports.

Officer Ryan O’Connor, 44, was taking a burglary suspect to the police station in Arnold when the suspect managed to get hold of a gun and shot the officer in the head, Fox2 reported.

The incident began as a burglary call in an Arnold neighborhood when Matt Faller reported that when he got home, his pregnant wife told him that a man was peering into their windows, the Fox affiliate reported.

Faller said of that man, “He said, ‘I just gotten out of jail.’ I go, ‘I don’t care where you been and what you did I don’t want you in my backyard.'”

When police got there, they searched for him and heard gunshots in a wooded area.

Moments later, Chad Klahs, 28, was found and arrested near a pawn shop.

While Officer O’Connor and Klahs were traveling in a police SUV, he shot the officer in the back of the head, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Capt. Gary Higginbotham told the St. Louis Today newspaper. Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak said his injuries “are very, very serious and very critical.”

Higginbotham said that O’Connor was out of surgery and is stable, but they didn’t have more details on his prognosis.

Klahs then apparently shot himself in the head after shooting the officer. Klahs was taken to a hospital and was pronounced dead at 2:40 p.m. local time Tuesday, Dec. 5, St. Today reported.


Officers took a gun away from him when they arrested him and put him in the back of the SUV, but he was apparently armed with another firearm and was able to access it before shooting O’Connor, Higginbotham told the publication.

Higginbotham said, “He’s just dedicated to his family, just dedicated to his job a great guy all the way around,” according to the Fox affiliate.

He said that O’Connor was a police officer for 20 years.

According to KMOV, records from the Missouri Department of Correction shows that Klahs has an extensive criminal record and has been in prison four times. He was most recently released in March. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to burglary charges and received eight years in prison before he was granted parole. In 2012, he stole an Xbox from a home and tampered with a witness.


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