St. Louis police officer dies after being shot in head, family writes heartfelt letter

Saint Louis police officer Tamarris L. Bohannon, 29, who was shot in the head died Sunday, Aug. 29, 2020 after responding to a shooting on the city's south side.

Tamarris L. Bohannon, the police officer in St. Louis who was shot in the head Saturday responding to a barricade situation, succumbed to his injuries Sunday, authorities said.

The 29-year-old officer is survived by his wife and three children. His family penned a letter that was posted on Twitter by the police department that called him a "hero to many but most importantly to his loving wife and three incredible children."

“The loss of this great man is felt deeply within the St. Louis community and we ask for your prayers and support in the days ahead,” the letter read.

Bohannon and another officer were shot when they responded to a shooting call in the Tower Grove South neighborhood around 6 p.m. on Saturday. A man had barricaded himself inside a home and fired at police.

The second officer, 30, who was shot in the leg, was treated and released after the shooting, St. Louis Police Department spokeswoman Officer Michelle Woodling said. The officer had been on the force for about six months.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden said the officers were “trying to do their job, that’s all they’re trying to do and they’re suffering under gunfire." He said the incident was just part of a "surge in violence" this summer, which saw eight of his officers shot in the line of duty since June 1.

“We’re trying to cope through a very trying summer, and it’s very difficult. It’s very difficult,” he said.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey earlier this year, also issued a statement of support.

“We extend our deepest concern and sadness surrounding today’s unfortunate events," Gardner told KDSK-TV. “I want to extend my prayers for the injured SLMPD officers and their families.”

The 43-year-old shooting suspect was taken into custody around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning after a 12-hour standoff that saw him order a family out of their home at gunpoint and barricaded himself inside, police added.

During the incident, residents were warned to stay inside their homes as SWAT officers swarmed the neighborhood. Officers armed with rifles were placed around the residence where the suspect had retreated, the St-Louis Post Dispatch reported.

Officers had been searching for another reported shooting victim when the gunman shot Bohannon in the head and the other officer in the leg, Hayden added.

Mayor Lyda Krewson in a statement Sunday wrote on Twitter that Bohannon's death was "Heartbreaking," as well as "a senseless and terrible tragedy."

"This is a horrific reminder of the dangers our brave men and women in law enforcement willingly and selflessly face everyday to protect and serve," she wrote.

Missouri Gov. Mark Parson said both he and his wife Teresa were "deeply saddened to hear of the loss of one of our @SLMPD Officers."

"Officers across Missouri protect us every day without hesitation and they and their families deserve our support. #BacktheBlue" he wrote on Twitter Sunday night.

Police have yet to release details on how the standoff came to an end. They ordered the suspect out and fired tear gas into the barricaded house, but no gunshots were fired, the department said.

Homeowners Mimi and Steve Haag said they were trying to call 911 to help another man who had been shot when the gunman just walked into their home.

“I saw then he had a gun,” Steve Haag told the paper. “He was very calm standing there with it in his hand and he just says to Mimi: ‘Ma’am you need to get off the phone.’”

The Haags escaped through the back door and were unhurt in their encounter with the gunman. Police were unable to locate the other man who was apparently shot and wounded.

Bohannon is survived by a wife, Alexis, and three children. Following his death, Krewson said she spent time with his family, "under these extraordinarily challenging circumstances."

"They’re wonderful people and immensely proud of the way he selflessly served and protected our community with distinction and honor for more than three years," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Get updates on this story from