The Big Bloody: Undercover Officers Shoot, Kill Two Suspects; Three Others in Custody

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This just in from the St. Louis police:

Just after midnight today undercover officers saw a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck near the area of St. Louis Avenue and Clara. The truck had been reported stolen from St. Charles, Missouri, on 11/15/09.

Undercover officers followed the vehicle and eventually deployed spike strips in its path, causing two of the tires to deflate. The vehicle, however, continued to flee from the officers. As the driver of the vehicle attempted to turn into an alley behind the 5600 block of Wabada, the vehicle lost control, struck a guidewire (for a telephone pole) and flipped on its driver's side.

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Several officers approached the vehicle and took a 26-year-old female, into custody without any resistance. Two other suspects -- Montraill L. Claiborne, 32, and an unidentified 30-year-old male -- resisted but officers used Tasers on the two suspects and their resistance ceased. 

Despite the officers' commands that two other suspects show their hands, they did not comply and reached for weapons, according to the police. Fearing for their safety, two officers fired several shots, striking the men -- Jeremiah C. Henderson, 26, and Darrell Williams, 21 -- multiple times. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. Officers recovered three guns from the vehicle and found drugs on Claiborne, who was taken to the hospital for cuts and bruises and was treated and released. No officers were injured.

Today the Circuit Attorney's Office issued warrants second-degree tampering against the three surviving suspects, felony resisting arrest against Clairborne and the unidentified male, and felony possession of a controlled substance against Claiborne. A judge set bond at $2,500.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting. One officer is a 34-year-old male and is a ten-year veteran of the department. The second officer is a 30-year-old male and has been a department officer for three years.

Police say all the suspects have prior criminal convictions.
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