In the latest reminder that valiant police officers are still venturing out into America's worst, most crime-afflicted neighborhoods to try and apprehend dangerous criminals, a St. Louis police officer who was a "hero" to his family died Sunday after being shot in the head by a gunman Saturday evening. He succumbed to his wounds on Sunday.
Officer Tamarris L. Bohannon bore several coincidental commonalities with Jacob Blake, the suspect who was shot repeatedly in Kenosha while officers feared he was reaching for a weapon. Both were 29. Both are men of color.
But while Blake is facing an assault charge and a long - but not impossible - road to recovery, Bohannon will never again be able to spend time with his family, including his loving wife and three children.
"He is a hero to many but most importantly to his loving wife and three incredible children," said St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden.
Bohannon had been with the department for 3.5 years.
"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," his family wrote.
In a briefing about the incident, Hayden explained that the gunman had ordered a family out of their home at gunpoint and barricaded himself inside for nearly 12 hours, creating a tense standoff. As officers and SWAT team assembled outside, police threw tear gas grenades into the house and tried to communicate with the suspect via a bullhorn.
The exact details weren't clear, but officer Bohannon and one of his colleagues were both shot while searching for another shooting victim. While Bohannon's injuries proved fatal, his partner, who was shot in the leg, is expected to survive."
The 43-year-old suspect connected to the shootings was finally taken into custody at around 0530 Sunday morning.
St Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said on Sunday she was “heartbroken” at the cop’s death.
"I’ve had the privilege of spending some time with his family under these extraordinarily challenging circumstances,” she said.
"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 everyday to keep us safe,” Krewson added. “This is a terrible, senseless tragedy.”
Chief Hayden has said the officers were just “trying to do their job, that’s all they’re trying to do and they’re suffering under gunfire."
The chief added that there has been a "surge in violence" this summer.
"We’re trying to cope through a very trying summer, and it’s very difficult. It’s very difficult," he said.
Since June 1, eight St Louis police officers have been shot in the line of duty. We wonder: how would the NFL react if a player wanted to display a tribute to Bohannon on their helmets?