Police identify officer rammed by driver outside Springfield Police Dept. headquarters; driver shot
The City of Springfield has identified the officer injured during an incident with a man outside the police department around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Officer Mark Priebe was "seriously injured" after a suspect rammed him into a barricade with an SUV, trapping him under the vehicle, in the police headquarters parking lot. Priebe is a 21-year police veteran, according to Mayor Ken McClure. A police spokeswoman says he will undergo surgery Tuesday night. He is listed in serious condition.
The police department identified the suspect as Jon Tyler Franklin Routh, 28.
"This is a sad reminder of the danger our officers face on a daily basis in an attempt to mitigate situations," McClure said. "We know now that the injured officer and others responding to the disturbance, tried to talk with a man who was urinating on the front door of the headquarters and unfortunately decided to use his vehicle as a weapon.
"I thank [Officer Priebe] for his courageous actions and I am asking for the community's prayers as he is currently hospitalized in serious condition."
According to Police Chief Paul Williams, the driver crushed Priebe against a barrier after causing a disturbance inside the building. The officer was breathing and talking when medics took him to the hospital.
Williams said staff asked Routh to leave the parking lot. Police say the man urinated on the station's door handles as he left the building. Investigators say he then drove up in an SUV. As officers tried to flag him down, Williams says the driver hit the accelerator, hitting the officer. Williams was not sure if the suspect was attempting to ram the building or officer on purpose.
Another officer yelled at the suspect to stop and get out of the SUV. Williams said the suspect refused, so police shot him. Officers pulled the suspect out of the SUV and handcuffed him before sending the man to the hospital.
Gloria Shelburn was walking nearby at the time and says she saw the white SUV involved circling the block slowly, over and over.
"We got to the corner and I said, there he goes again making another round, and I thought he was going to make another around the block, but he didn't," says Shelburn. "He pulled into the police department parking lot. And then I'd say probably within a minute, I hear pop pop pop pop pop in the police parking lot."
The SPD lobby on Chestnut Expressway was locked down following the incident. Police say the lobby at the south station on West Battlefield is open until 7PM.