A suburban St. Louis police officer who was shot last week during a traffic stop “will forever be changed by his injuries” and require long-term care, his police chief said Tuesday.
Ballwin officer Mike Flamion, 31, of House Springs, has been hospitalized since he was shot in the back Friday as he walked to his patrol car after stopping a man for speeding. He remains in stable but critical condition, Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott said in a video on the department’s Facebook page.
The shooting occurred a day after five police officers were killed in Dallas, but Missouri officials have not discussed a possible motive for Flamion’s shooting.
Antonio Taylor, 31, remains jailed on $500,000 bond on charges of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a weapon. He said during a hearing Monday that he wanted to represent himself, but St. Louis County Circuit Judge Joseph Dueker gave Taylor until July 27 to decide how he will be represented.
Rick Draper of the De Soto, Mo., Police Department, who was Flamion’s boss before the officer moved to Ballwin in west St. Louis County two years ago, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Flamion hasn’t been able to breathe on his own since he was shot. He said he had met with Flamion’s relatives at Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur.
“We are all hopeful that 10 years from now we can look back at this as a crazy time, but I also understand the struggle he has ahead of him,” Draper said Tuesday, adding that Flamion is concerned about other officers having to cover his shift. “He’s certainly not out of the woods. He’s a very active person and doesn’t like people taking care of him. He has only been able to communicate by moving his mouth.”
Flamion’s injuries make him eligible for help from the Backstoppers Catastrophic Injury Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to the families of fallen officers and also makes donations to first responders whose injuries keep them from returning to duty. The board of directors can authorize a donation up to $100,000, but an amount has not yet been set for Flamion’s family, executive director Ron Battelle said.
A GoFundMe page set up for Flamion, who is married, raised nearly $108,000 by Tuesday afternoon, and a lemonade stand over the weekend raised $4,000.
Scott thanked the community for its support for Flamion and his family, as well as the entire Ballwin Police Department.
“The family realizes that it’s impossible to thank each person individually, but they want you to know there are no words to express their gratitude for your ongoing support,” Scott said. “From the kind words and handwritten notes, to the blue ribbons hung throughout our city, to the food and financial donations. The family has been deeply touched by each one of these kind acts.”
Draper said the De Soto Police Department, where Flamion previously worked, also has received overwhelming support.
“There’s a lot of different emotions that we are feeling in the law enforcement community and there are different levels of mourning, but the outpouring of support our police department and others is receiving, it’s inspiring,” Draper said.