- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - One man is in custody and three others are being sought after a uniformed St. Louis police sergeant was ambushed in a hail of gunfire, police said Wednesday.

Police spokeswoman Leah Freeman declined to provide further details on the arrest in the pre-dawn Tuesday attack, saying only that the investigation is ongoing.

The officer, a 16-year veteran of the department, was working neighborhood security as a second job when a gunman masked by a bandanna emerged from a car occupied by three others and opened fire on his private vehicle, peppering the windshield.

The motive for the attack was unclear. Police Chief Sam Dotson called it an ambush and said the goal was to “assassinate” the officer, whose name was not released.

The officer, 39, and the four suspects are black, police said.

The officer’s body armor saved his life, Dotson said. He was treated and released at a hospital for a torso injury.

The officer returned fire and Dotson said one suspect may be wounded. Police found more than a dozen bullet holes in the officer’s windshield - some from the shooter and some from the officer’s return of fire.

It wasn’t clear if the man in custody was the shooter.

Dotson said the officer had been monitoring three people walking down the street. They left, but moments later, a silver or gray vehicle occupied by four people, including the walkers, pulled up in front of the sergeant’s car, Dotson said.

The gunman stepped out and began firing at the officer, then ran as the suspect car sped away. The wounded officer drove after the gunman but lost sight of him in a parking garage, Dotson said.

The area is saturated with security cameras and police planned to obtain footage from those cameras.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that about a dozen people gathered outside police headquarters Tuesday evening to show support for the officer.

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