Thursday, August 16, 2018

JeffCo Suspect Calls in Active Shooter Hoax to Ditch Cops

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 10:31 AM

click to enlarge Mercy Hospital in Festus went on lockdown following an active shooter hoax. - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Mercy Hospital in Festus went on lockdown following an active shooter hoax.

With the police on his tail, a man racing through Jefferson County Wednesday night knew just what he needed — a diversion.

The suspect reportedly called Mercy Hospital Jefferson in Festus and claimed there was a gunman in the parking lot. There wasn't, but the idea was apparently to send the cops chasing after an imaginary active shooter while he sped off into the night.

"Police were in pursuit of a suspect who used that call to our switchboard as a diversion tactic," hospital spokesman John Winkelman told Fox 2 News.

The call came in shortly after 9 p.m., and the hospital quickly shifted into lockdown mode. For the next hour, they waited until finally receiving confirmation from law enforcement that everything was OK, Mercy said in a Facebook post.

Ultimately, it did not work out for the prank-calling suspect, who was later arrested and admitted he was behind the hospital hoax. Little has been publicly released about him. KSDK reports that he was wanted on a burglary in Festus and was taken into custody in Red Bud, Illinois.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Riverfront Times has been keeping St. Louis informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Riverfront Times. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 1, 2020


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation