Stephanie Hicks shot herself in the head with a cop’s gun while inside of his police vehicle, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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An Alton police officer saw Hicks, 20, walking across the Clark Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Alton. The cop was alerted by a call from a friend who called police over concern of her walking in the heat. Hicks was walking to to a hospital to seek help for a condition that is not clear. She was medically cleared by EMS workers on the bridge and released.
(Note: Television station KSDK reports that Hicks’ ex-boyfriend said that she was bi-polar and was “recently having a tough time”)
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The cop offered Hicks a ride to the hospital and she sat in the passenger side of the police vehicle. Fox 2 Now reports that the cop drove her to to the hospital for a “crisis intervention.” At some point, she went for the officer’s gun and a struggle ensued. Hicks took control of the weapon and shot herself in the head. Hick’s death has been ruled a suicide.
The watch commander gave the officer permission to drive her, and the officer let her ride in the front seat.
“This was all meant to be a courtesy transportation,” Hayes said.
He said the back of the car, partitioned from the front, is for prisoners and is not air-conditioned. He noted that Hicks was not in custody.
The chief said Hicks “never said a word” while she was in the car.
At Highway 367 and Dunn Road, officials said, she grabbed the pistol carried in a holster on the officer’s right hip, setting off a struggle that ended with a shot. She was taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where she died.
The patrol car was equipped with a video camera, Hays said, but it is wired to the emergency lights and was not running. The officer turned on the lights after the shooting, and a video does show the aftermath.
The officer, who has not been named, is a 13-year member of the force and was not hurt during the incident. An investigation into the incident is underway.
Hicks mother, Robin, says her daughter was 5’1” and weighed less 100 pounds. “She got that gun and there’s no way she should have gotten that gun,” she told Fox 2 Now. “I’m angry and I pissed. It’s not right.”