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One in custody, one in hospital after officer-involved shooting

UPDATE – 5:41 P.M.: ABC 17 News has confirmed the names of the two people involved in an early morning police chase and officer-involved shooting in Cooper County.

Lauren Bunting, the driver of the vehicle police were pursuing, was charged with first degree assault, felony armed criminal action, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony resisting arrest by fleeing, operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner and failing to display lighted lamps on a motor vehicle. Her passenger, Tristan Rhorer-Cushing, was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

According to court documents, Boonville police tried to stop Bunting after seeing her car with no headlights on. The officer said Bunting had sped up and “seemed to be attempting to elude” him.

The officer reported Bunting was driving erratically and on several occasions “drove her vehicle into the oncoming lane, which forced oncoming motorists to have to move off the road to avoid a collision.”

Court documents also say Bunting was turning her lights on and off several times when driving and reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

At Highway 87 and Teel Street in Prairie Home, police say Bunting “made an abrupt right turn, nearly striking a power pole and a street sign pole.” The officer reported she lost control and slid to a stop.

The officer said he attempted to block Bunting’s car in when “the suspect vehicle began backing up and turning and rammed into (the) patrol car front bumper.”

A second officer was approaching on foot giving verbal commands to Bunting and Rhorer-Cushing.

Court documents say Bunting tried to “flee again and in the process was colliding with (the) patrol car again and she aggressively backed up toward” the second officer, nearly striking him.

The officer reported hearing gunshots and seeing the passenger side rear door window shatter. The officer said he thought the occupants were shooting at the officers. Court documents say it was the second officer who shot into the vehicle, striking Bunting.

Police say Bunting sped off down Teel Street and another road before getting back onto Highway 87. Police say officers followed her for about another mile until she “veered off the road onto a dirt drive and got the car stuck.”

Rhorer-Cushing was the passenger in the car, according to police. He surrendered and was searched. Police say he had what tested to be methamphetamine on his person.

Court documents say the license plates on the car were registered to another person for another car. The car is Bunting’s according to police, but it is not registered in her name yet and she allegedly does not have insurance on the vehicle.

UPDATE – 7:30 a.m.: The Cooper County Sheriff’s Office said an officer-involved shooting happened around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday.

“The incident sprang from a pursuit involving the Boonville police,” said a Cooper County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post. “The pursuit initiated in Boonville and led officers south on Hwy 87. The gunfire occurred in the Prairie Home area.”

The chase moved south on Hwy 87 and ended near the Cooper-Moniteau county line.

Deputies said a 34-year-old woman was taken to a Columbia hospital to treat a gunshot wound.

“A 21-year-old man is in custody and The Boonville officer received no serious injuries,” said the Facebook post. “Due to the fact that the incident involved a local officer-involved shooting, the Sheriff’s Office has requested the Missouri State Highway Investigative unit conduct the investigation.”

ABC 17 News will continue to follow the investigation and post updates when the identity of the suspect is confirmed.

UPDATE – 5:30 a.m.: Boonville police have confirmed officers were involved in a short chase of a vehicle this morning. The result of that chase led to an officer-involved shooting. Law enforcement have cleared the scene in Cooper County. The investigation is still active.

UPDATE – 4:05 a.m.: ABC 17 News crews on scene saw officers placing markers on the ground and taking pictures at the crime scene. There are two non-law enforcement vehicles within the taped-off perimeter.

ORIGINAL STORY: Law enforcement set up a large presence in Boonville early Wednesday morning.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Boonville police and Cooper County deputies are on scene near Route 87 and Teel Street.

Law enforcement have blocked off Teel Street with crime scene tape.

Officials on scene cannot confirm any details at this time.

A viewer called ABC 17 News, saying he heard gunfire in the area. ABC 17 News is working to confirm that information.

The Cooper County Sheriff’s Office told ABC 17 News the Boonville Police Department was leading the investigation. ABC 17 called Boonville police, which could also not yet confirm any details.

This is a developing story. Stick with ABC 17 News for updates.

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