‘He loved what he did’: Fallen Bonne Terre officer’s fiance speaks after gunman opens fire at Motel 6
“From what I’ve been told by the hospital and other officers, he went down with a fight.”
BONNE TERRE (KMOV) - The community of Bonne Terre is mourning the death of a police officer who was killed when a gunman opened fire at a Motel 6 in Bonne Terre early Thursday morning.
The officer who was killed has been identified as 31-year old Lane Burns. 28-year-old Corporal Garrett Worley was shot in the leg and taken to a hospital in St. Louis. A relative told News 4 he’s had one surgery and is scheduled for a second surgery on Saturday.
Two Bonne Terre police officers responded to a disturbance call at a motel room in the 1000 block of Highway K around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. As they approached the room, police said 21-year-old James Emery of St. Louis opened fire, striking the officers. Officers returned fire and killed Emery.
Dom Heard and Joanna Morrison were staying overnight at the motel, in the second-floor room above Emery’s and were awakened by the sound of gunfire.
“All of a sudden I heard gunshots. It was about at least fifteen gunshots,” said Heard.
“I’m like oh my God what’s going on around me? I’ve never been in a situation like this,” said Morrison.
Burns’ fiance, Shannon Chasteen, said she regularly listens to a scanner app on her phone when Burns is on duty. She said she was listening when Burns and the other officers were dispatched to the motel for a disturbance.
“And I texted him to say be safe because dispatch said the guy had a gun. I texted him ‘be safe’, he read the message and about three or four minutes later I heard the third officer yelling for help on the radio. He needed backup because two officers had been shot,” said Chasteen.
She said Burns loved being a police officer in Bonne Terre. A former training officer described Burns as someone who was smart, had a big heart, and cared about people. Burns had a 9-year old daughter.
“I want to give him a hug and I just want somebody to tell me that he’s okay. but he’s not. I mean he’s with God,” Chasteen added.
Deputies with the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Officer are responding to all calls in Bonne Terre for the next few days, as employees of the police department mourn.
Corporal Dallas Thompson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it is typical for officers to speak to individuals on the scene to mend issues during disturbance calls but officers are always alert.
“This is something that every officer fears. They always have it in the back of their mind,” Thompson said. “The ‘what-ifs’ and ‘if there’s something like this could ‘happen’. So whenever someone opens up a door and you’re not expecting them to pull a gun and start firing on yet that quickly. It is very dangerous.”
The 28-year-old injured officer has been with the department for seven years. He is still recovering at a local hospital.
“This is a small community, a smaller community, smaller police department, so it really hits hard for those folks here,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be a tough next few days next few weeks as they deal with the aftermath of this and their community for the rest of the officers.”
Funeral services for Burn will be held on March 26 at Mineral Area College Field House in Park Hills from 9 a.m. to noon. A funeral procession will leave the CZ Boyer and Son Funeral Home in Desloge at 9 a.m. which will travel through his hometown of Carthage en route to the Harvey Cemetery.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) released a statement on Burns’ death:
“This morning, Bonne Terre Police Officer Lane Burns tragically lost his life in the line of duty. Officer Burns’ fiancé said he loved being a police officer and he loved the department. Officer Burns lived a life of service and purpose in protecting those around him. Abby and I send our deepest condolences to his family and the Bonne Terre Police Department. Our thoughts are also with Corporal Garrett Worley who was injured and remains hospitalized.”
BackStoppers are assisting Burns’ family. You can donate online or by mail at the following address: The BackStoppers, Inc. PO Box 795168 Saint Louis, MO 63179-0700
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