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Stephanie Hicks' death a suicide, Medical Examiner's report says

4:51 PM, Jul 5, 2012   |    comments
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Stephanie Hicks

Alton, IL (KSDK) - A 20-year-old woman who was shot in a police patrol car Wednesday morning killed herself, according to the medical examiner's preliminary report.

The St. Louis County Police Department said Stephanie Hicks got into a struggle with an Alton police officer over his weapon while in his vehicle.  Hicks was shot in the head and died.

St. Louis County police continue to investigate the deadly shooting.

Hicks' former boyfriend Eric Perry said she was bi-polar and recently had a tough time. She made a decision to get help, so he and Hicks started to walk from his house in Alton to Christian Northeast Hospital.

Around 9 a.m., a police officer pulled over and asked Hicks if she needed a ride.  Perry explained that he saw Hicks get into the patrol car's front seat.  He said the next thing he knew, he got a call explaining that Hicks had been shot and killed in that car, near Dunn Road and 367, and the officer's gun was the weapon used.

The officer driving Hicks is a 13-year veteran on the Alton police force.  He's been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.  Alton PD is expected to launch its own internal affairs investigation.

While it's not customary for Alton police officers to give courtesy rides to citizens, the officer called his superior and received permission to give the woman a lift to the hospital.

Police said the officer told them Hicks didn't say anything in the car before taking the gun from his holster and shooting herself.  The officer activated the car's dashboard recording system after the woman shot herself.

KSDK

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