St. Louis, MO – Two police motorcycles helping to escort a hearse with the body of North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf were involved in a wreck that left two officers injured.
KDSK reported that the two motorcycles, which were driven by officers from two different law enforcement agencies, collided during the procession from the funeral home in Olivette to a funeral home in St. Louis City.
The injured officers were from the St. Charles County Police Department and the Webster Groves Police Department, KTVI reported.
The collision occurred at 3 p.m., about 30 minutes after the procession began, on Landsdowne near Jamieson Avenue.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer Michelle Woodling said the two motorcycles were the only ones involved in the accident and that the fallen motor officers were not struck by any other vehicles after they crashed, according to KTVI.
Dozens of first responders who were in the area for Officer Langsdorf’s procession jumped in to assist the injured officers until ambulances arrived.
Both officers were transported to Barnes Jewish Hospital for treatment, KTVI reported.
Police have not released any official details on the conditions of the officers, but KTVI reported that the officer from the St. Charles County PD appeared to be the more seriously injured of the two officers.
The fallen officer whom the officers were honoring when the wreck happened was murdered in the line of duty by a convicted felon while responding to a call for a bad check on Sunday.
Officer Langsdorf, 40, responded to Clay’s Food Market in Wellston at about 4:30 p.m. on June 24 for a report of a customer trying to cash a bad check, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
At a press conference on Monday morning, police identified Officer Langsdorf’s killer as 26-year-old Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks.
“He confronted this person that was trying to pass the bad check, and during that confrontation a struggle ensued… the entire incident was captured on surveillance video,” North County Police Cooperative Major Ron Martin told reporters.
“Mr. Meeks and Officer Langsdorf had a struggle on the floor. At some point, Officer Langsdorf was on top of Meeks,” Major Martin explained
He said somehow their positions got switched and Meeks pulled a gun out of his waistband and struck Officer Langsdorf in the head multiple times.
Major Martin said the surveillance video showed the officer became dazed and lost his hold on Meeks, and the suspect was able to stand up.
“Officer Langsdorf was on the ground face down, stomach down… he pointed the gun at the back of Officer Langsdorf’s head and fired one shot,” Major Martin described as he struggled to maintain his composure at the podium.
He said that Officer Langsdorf was hit in the left rear neck and the bullet travelled to his spinal cord, where it ricocheted and went out his chest.
The suspect fled immediately after shooting the officer.
“Meeks ran gun in hand out of the store… assisting officers captured him and he was armed with the pistol he used to murder Officer Langsdorf,” Major Martin said.
Officer Langsdorf was transported to Barnes-Jewish hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Meeks was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, felony resisting arrest, illegal possession of a firearm.
The gun that he was carrying was not stolen and police said they’re still trying to determine its origin.
Major Martin said that Meeks was also a felon in possession of a firearm, with multiple felony convictions from North Carolina.
Officer Langsdorf had been with the North County Police Cooperative for only three months, but in that short time, he had become a popular mentor who “took young officers under his wing,” North County Police Cooperative Chief John Buchannan told reporters.
“All he wanted was to be a police officer and do police work – he told me that multiple times,” Chief Buchannan said.
Prior to joining North County, he served on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for 17 years, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“Mike was incredibly passionate about police work,” Brian Millikan, a lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, said. “It was his mission in life. We lost a good one today.”
Many of the North County Police Cooperative officials present on the dais for the press conference had previously served on the St. Louis police force with Officer Langsdorf and spoke very highly of him.
The North County Police Cooperative was founded only four years ago and has about 60 officers.
Officer Langsdorf’s murder was the first officer-involved shooting for the department, as well as its only fallen officer.