ST. LOUIS ― On the same day that five police officers were killed in one of the deadliest days for law enforcement since Sept. 11, Missouri police officer Mike Flamion was shot in the neck during a traffic stop. Flamion, 32, who is a nine-year police veteran, is now paralyzed from the neck down.
“This catastrophic injury will forever change Mike’s life and the lives of his family,” Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott said Monday during a press conference announcing Flamion’s condition.
Around 11 a.m. on July 8, Flamion pulled over 31-year-old Antonio Taylor for what police said was a traffic violation. According to a statement by the St. Louis County Police Department, Flamion was walking back to his police vehicle when Taylor fired three shots, striking Flamion at least once.
Police arrested Taylor shortly after the shooting and charged him with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, unlawful weapon possession and armed criminal action. According to online court records, Taylor has an extensive criminal background, including previous charges for second-degree robbery. He is currently being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
According to Scott, Flamion is “very alert” and recognizes family, friends and co-workers.”
“Although it is evident that he will no longer be able to serve in the same capacity, I want to assure you the Officer Flamion is engrained in the Ballwin police family and forever will be a Ballwin police officer, no questions asked.” Scott said.
Flamion’s wife of two years says he’s “very appreciative” of the support.
“Every day I’m at the hospital, there’s Ballwin police officers from other municipalities and counties. So many people there to help with anything they can. It’s an overwhelming feeling,” she said during the press conference.
A Gofundme account that Flamion’s coworkers set up following the shooting has already raised nearly $223,000 to help the officer, who Scott says will need long-term medical treatment.
The update about Flamion’s injury comes just one day after three Baton Rouge police officers were killed in an “ambush-style attack.” In response, President Barack Obama called for unity within the country, echoing remarks he made last week during a memorial service for officers killed in Dallas.
The city of Ballwin is a relatively affluent area located in St. Louis County with over 30,400 residents, according to the 2010 census. In 2013, the city was listed as Money magazine’s 40th “best place to live.”
The last time a Ballwin PD officer was shot in the line of duty was in 1987, according to a St. Louis County public relations officer.
“It’s a very difficult job. No matter where you work, no matter what environment you work in. We all face the same challenges and I think when these things happen, it’s very sobering,” Scott said.
The St. Louis County Police Department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Persons is seeking further information or known witnesses related to the shooting. According to a statement, investigators believe several unidentified witnesses were driving or running in the immediate area during the time of the incident. Information can be directed to (314) 615-5400.