National News

Off-duty officer shoots, kills man outside Illinois Wal-Mart

Posted November 29

— An off-duty police officer fatally shot a fugitive in a suburban St. Louis Wal-Mart parking lot after the man crashed into several vehicles, nearly ran over several people and drove at the officer in an attempt to get away, authorities said.

The St. Clair County (Illinois) Coroner's office identified the man Tuesday as 35-year-old Jason Stringer, of Centerville, Illinois. He was wanted on several charges, including fleeing from the police and being a felon in possession of a weapon, according to a news release from the police department in Cahokia, which is also in southern Illinois, just south of St. Louis.

The off-duty Washington Park officer saw the man enter the store shortly before 5 p.m. Monday and called the Cahokia police, according to the news release. Officers arrived and when the man saw them in the parking lot, he ran for his vehicle and sped off, striking a pillar in front of the store and other vehicles and nearly striking pedestrians in the parking lot. With the car heading at him, the off-duty officer fired several times, striking the man at least once.

Stringer managed to drive away, with officers from several law enforcement agencies in pursuit. The fleeing vehicle struck vehicles on the roadway before hitting a median about a mile from the store. Officers arrived and Stringer was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The department said two Cahokia police officers were injured. A department spokeswoman said their injuries weren't life-threatening, but she wouldn't elaborate.

Police did not say if Stringer was armed at the time of the shooting, and the Illinois State Police, which is handling the investigation, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Washington Park Police Chief Tony Tomlinson said that Stringer's history, which includes a number of instances when he fled from police, also includes his use of a firearm. He said Stringer was wanted for firing shots at his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend at least twice last month and for putting a gun to the man's head on one occasion.

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