Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Sought in Shooting of Officer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Sought in Shooting of Officer

Article excerpt

St. Louis County police continued their largest manhunt ever Friday night, tracking a man who had shot a county police officer in the back of the head, apparently with the officer's own revolver.

The officer, JoAnn V. Liscombe, 38, of Jennings, was in critical condition Friday afternoon after four hours of surgery at Christian Hospital Northeast, in north St. Louis County. Liscombe, a 16-year veteran of the North County precinct, was found lying in the snow about 1:25 a.m. Friday near the intersection of Old Halls Ferry Road and Patricia Ridge Drive. A passer-by who discovered her had noticed the light from Liscombe's fallen flashlight.

Police had no witnesses to the shooting, said County Police Lt. John McCrady. Liscombe's gun has not been recovered.

Officer Jim Brady, director of information for the County Police, said police had "some potential suspects but no solid suspects."

The search focused on a man, described as possibly intoxicated and acting "squirrelly," who had been seen walking along Old Halls Ferry just after 1 a.m. Friday. The man was described as black, 30 to 40 years old, a slight beard and mustache, 6 feet tall and 170 to 200 pounds, wearing a stocking cap, black coat and blue jeans.

Just before the shooting, Liscombe was in a nearby 7-Eleven store - a store where she often stopped for coffee - when a customer came in to complain about the strange man walking on Old Halls Ferry. Liscombe left the store at 1:13 a.m., and police did not talk with her by radio after that.

Liscombe's patrol car was found abandoned, its engine off but red lights still flashing, less than a mile away at the corner of Ebert and Netherton drives in North County. About 200 officers began searching for the man about 6 a.m. in the Hathaway Manor North subdivision.

In addition to the shot to the head, the palm of Liscombe's left hand had a bullet wound, Brady said. That led police to believe that Liscombe had struggled with her assailant.

Liscombe's parents and a few close friends waited in the hospital's intensive care unit throughout the day on Friday. One friend, a police officer in Overland, said they had spent the day praying, trying to keep the family's spirits up. …

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