(KSDK) — In St. Charles County, an Alton, Illinois police cruiser lost control, rolled and crashed on southbound Highway 67, north of Highway 94.
The officer had to be extricated from his vehicle at the accident scene. He was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and released about two hours later.
Alton Police gave the following details of the incident at a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the Justice Center:
According to the press conference, around 7:05 a.m. Tuesday, Alton police got a call of an apparent theft in progress of a car on Silver Street.
When an officer arrived at scene, a red Pontiac Grand Prix and a black Ford Mustang, each containing two people, sped off. The cars raced to Highland Street with the black Mustang in front of the Pontiac.
As the two cars crossed Highland and Brown Street with police in pursuit, the red Pontiac was hit broadside by a car going through the intersection. The officer stopped and tackled the passenger of the Pontiac who was trying to run.
The black Mustang then backed up. A passenger jumped from the Mustang, shouted at the officer then opened fire with a silver handgun. The officer wrestling with the suspect from the Pontiac let go and returned fire. The passenger from Pontiac then jumped into the black Mustang and the car sped off.
The Mustang got to East Broadway, where another officer spotted the Mustang and began pursuing the car across the Clark bridge and on to Highway 67 north of Highway 94. This is where the Alton police car crashed.
Both the Ford Mustang and the Pontiac were stolen. The red Pontiac was stolen around 5:50 a.m. in St. Louis County. Officers do not know when the black Mustang was stolen or from where at this time.
Police also say the three individuals who got away in the black Mustang attempted to carjack someone in the Spanish Lake area after the accident, but their attempt failed.
The driver of the red Grand Prix was injured when the car was broadsided. He was taken to an area hospital then airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis.
Two additional handguns were recovered from the Pontiac.
These men are described as reckless, armed and dangerous. It's also believed that at least two of these four suspects were involved in an armed robbery in Alton over the weekend.
Both of the police officers are alright. The officer involved in the shooting is a ten-year veteran. The officer involved in the chase and crash is a rookie. When the officer returned fire, he reportedly fired two rounds, both of which hit a house in the Highland/Brown area. No one was injured.
St. Charles County Police are working reconstruction at this time. Bulletins have been posted on the three missing suspects.