The Missouri police officer who was shot during a traffic stop has been identified, officials said.
Mike Flamion, a 9-year law enforcement veteran, was shot in the neck during a traffic stop on July 8 and is in critical condition, the Ballwin Police Department said.
“Officer Flamion is highly regarded by everyone in the department,” the department said in a statement. “His sense of humor and professional demeanor make him a centerpiece of our department. Mike is an outstanding officer whom the citizens of Ballwin should be proud to call their own.”
The department said that Flamion joined the police force two years ago after spending 7 years as an officer in De Soto, Missouri.
Police described the shooting as an ambush. According to a GoFundMe set up by Ballwin Police for Flamion’s family, he is still in “critical condition” in the intensive care unit.
Flamion was sent to a local hospital, said Ballwin Chief Kevin Scott on Friday night in a Facebook video. Flamion is “fighting for his life” and is surrounded by his family.
He added that Flamion was “completely helpless” against the assailant, noting that he had “had no chance at all” to pull out his weapon, Scott said.
“This Officer and his family’s lives will forever be changed as a result of this violent act,” the department wrote.
The department added that it was overwhelmed by the “amazing amount of support and compassion” people have shown to Flamion, his family, and the police department.
The shooting came a day after five Dallas police officers were shot and killed by a lone sniper during a protest over the police shooting deaths of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.
The St. Louis County Police Department arrested Antonio Taylor, 31, for the shooting. He was charged with first degree assault on a law enforcement officer, one count of armed criminal action, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. He is being held on $500,000 bond.
Taylor was taken into custody after fleeing the scene, officials said. It alleged that Taylor, a convicted felon, stepped out of his car and shot Flamion in the back and in the body. Police haven’t said what the motive was.
A local woman said she heard gunshots and ran out of her house. When she saw the wounded police officer, she grabbed a towel and placed it around his neck to stop the bleeding, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I tried to help the officer,” the woman told the newspaper. “I just hope he’s OK.”