Charges: St. Louis officer shot unarmed suspect in back

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis police officer faces assault charges after an internal investigation concluded that he shot an unarmed suspect in the back.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 26-year-old Matthew EerNisse also was charged Thursday with armed criminal action.

The shooting happened in August 2018 after an officer spotted a stolen Ford Mustang, prompting a chase. EerNisse joined in.

The pursuit ended when the Mustang driver lost control and ran. A probable cause statement says EerNisse gave chase and fired from behind as the suspect climbed a boarded-up gate. The man was struck several times but survived.

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At the time of the shooting, Police Chief John Hayden said the driver had reached toward his waistband as he ran. But police found no weapon.

EerNisse does not have a listed attorney.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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