Missouri Cop ‘Fighting For His Life’ After Shot During Traffic Stop, Official Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A Missouri police officer is currently "fighting for his life" after he was shot during a traffic stop this morning in the city of Ballwin, according to the city's police chief.

The incident, which was caught on police dash-cam, happened around 11 a.m. local time when a Ballwin Police Department officer pulled over a vehicle for speeding, Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott said at a news conference this afternoon.

After conversing with the driver, the police officer retreated to his car to do followup paperwork, Scott said. The driver then came out, advanced towards the officer and fired three shots before going back to their vehicle and fleeing.

Residents and witnesses in the area called 911 to report that the Ballwin police officer had been shot, the police chief said. The wounded officer was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition this afternoon.

The suspect, who had been driving a blue Ford Taurus, was later tracked down and taken into custody without incident following a brief foot pursuit, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. The St. Louis County Police Department is leading the investigation into the shooting.

Charges against the suspect in custody were pending, Belmar said at a news conference. He added that a semi-automatic handgun, which officials believed was the weapon used to shoot the Ballwin police officer, was recovered at the time the suspect was apprehended.

Though officials said they were not yet sure about the suspect's motive, Belmar said investigators believe the officer was "ambushed."

He added that it was a "sad day for law enforcement," especially given that the incident fell on the heels tragedy in Dallas, where five police officers were slain overnight. Officials declined to release the identity of the wounded officer and the suspect taken into custody.

Meanwhile, several community leaders and police departments have been expressing messages of support for Ballwin's police and the injured officer.

Missouri congresswoman Ann Wagner tweeted, "Please join me in praying for the @BallwinPolice officer shot this morning & all our law enforcement officers. May God bless & protect them."

Steve Stenger, the St. Louis County executive, wrote on Twitter, "Thank you to all agencies for quick response and investigation in Ballwin. @stlcountypd Suspect apprehended and weapon recovered."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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