COLUMBIA Mo. (KMIZ)
Early Thursday morning, Columbia police say they tried to pull over a suspicious vehicle downtown.
The vehicle in question drove away from police and ended up crashing on the sidewalk in front of the Columbia Fire Administration Building. Police approached the vehicle and officers say they were shot at.
According to Adam Duncan, who has been involved with law enforcement for 22 years and is currently the Director of Training at Northstar Training, says officers were dealing with three types of issues within this situation this morning.
Duncan said the officers' first priority at the scene when somebody is shooting at them is to access the situation and see if anyone is "in the direct line of fire... between the suspect and the officers to ensure their safety."
After that, he said officers need to protect themselves.
"Finally, we want to minimize those risks to the suspects as well," Duncan said. "Ultimately, we'd like for them to comply with whatever those lawful commands are so that we can let the criminal justice system do what it needs to do."
Boone County Jail records say 18-year-old Anthony D. Stapleton, who is suspected of the shooting, was booked into the jail Thursday afternoon. The records say he is jail custody being held without bond.
Police said in a news release that a juvenile was also detained on suspicion of the shooting. The release added officers were still looking for one other suspect.
Duncan explained that what the officers do in this sort of situation is ultimately dictated by the actions of the suspect and that they want to use the lowest amount of force possible while still getting the situation under control.
"If they can use some other level of force, less than deadly force, then that's always our preference. Officers always need to end the threat as quickly and efficiently as possible -- and isolate the threat to prevent it from spreading," Duncan said.
He went on to say that the goal is to regain control of the situation.
The state of Missouri requires 600 hours of training for police officers, however, Duncan says most training academies offer more than these hour requirements.