ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- A felon who was sought on a charge of assaulting an officer shot three members of a fugitive-search team Tuesday morning, wounding one of them critically, before one of the officers shot and killed him, according to the U.S. Marshal's service.
The officers sought Carlos Boles, 36, on charges of assaulting a St. Louis police officer and of possessing drugs. Both charges are from an incident in October outside the same residence where the shootings took place.
The marshal's service in Washington confirmed the officers were seeking to arrest Boles when the suspect opened fire. He shot a deputy marshal in the head, critically wounding him, and hit a second deputy and a city police officer, authorities said.
St. Louis police officials declined to release details of the incident or the charges against Boles.
William Sibert, the U.S. marshal in St. Louis, said one deputy was shot in the head and the other was hit in the ankle. Sibert spoke at a news conference at St. Louis University Hospital, where the two deputy marshals were taken. He was joined by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom.
The St. Louis officer was grazed, they said, and was in good shape at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
"This is a tragic example of what our law enforcement officers go through every day," Slay said. "They need our support and their families need our support."
A spokeswoman said the marshal who had been shot in the head was in critical condition and the other was in fair condition.
The police officer was grazed in the face after his bullet-resistant vest apparently turned a bullet aside, police said. He was further injured when he fell after being shot.
St. Louis Circuit Court records show that Boles was accused of striking and choking a city police officer on Oct. 11. Police reports say two uniformed officers suspected Boles of dealing drugs and tried to question him, but he fought and struck one of the officers. The report says officers used a TASER to subdue Boles.
It was not clear why officers were seeking him on warrants Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshal's Service said deputy marshals routinely assist local officers in serving warrants when requested.
Court records show that Boles has five felony convictions, beginning with felony assault in 1993. He was found guilty in 2005 of four cases of felony possession of controlled substances. The police report from October says a pill bottle that Boles tossed at the scene was found to contain heroin and cocaine base.
The U.S. Marshal's Service is the enforcement arm of the federal judiciary. Among other duties, its deputy marshals track fugitives, protect the federal courts and juries, run the national witness protection program and transport federal prisoners. Nationwide, it employs more than 3,330 agents.
In declining to provide details about the incident, city police officials said they are focusing on the injured marshals and officer.
"Our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to the families right now," Isom said.
Police summoned a SWAT team to the residence after shots were fired because they weren't sure who still was inside the brick flat.
Sannita Boles, who said she is Carlos Boles' sister, said her three children, 8, 13 and 15, were staying with her brother and his girlfriend at the home.
Police and the marshals waited for the children to leave the home this morning, then headed into the home to arrest her brother, Sannita Boles said. She said she didn't know why, but that her brother had been in and out of jail.
Family members said Carlos Boles, 36, had two children -- a boy, 5, and a girl, 2.
At one point, when police still thought someone might be alive inside, Sannita Boles collapsed and lay sobbing on the grass at a park across the street. Police and her friends helped her up and asked everyone to move back so they wouldn't be in the line of fire.
"He's still in there," she wailed about her brother.
One woman related to the suspect ranted and got into the face of an officer, screaming, "Why did you do this?"
Friends grabbed her and pulled her back. "It wasn't him," one said.
Tony Johnson, who lives nearby, explained why he thinks many in a crowd of about 100 people were growing increasingly angry as they waited outside the home.
"Complete anger," he said. "People around here don't like cops."
Johnson, 22, added: "They should've sent a relative in to talk him out rather than go in shooting."
Denise Hollinshed and Tim O'Neil, both of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, contributed to this report.
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