Missouri officer shot in head transported to Colorado rehab hospital
Arnold, Mo.
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Officer Ryan O’Connor continues to recover from being shot in the back of the head by a handcuffed suspect

By Christine Byers
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ARNOLD, Mo. — Injured Arnold police Officer Ryan O’Connor left St. Louis on a flight to a rehabilitation hospital near Denver on Monday as he continues to recover from being shot in the back of the head by a burglary suspect last month.

First responders lined his route to an airport to be flown out Monday morning, and a large number of officers and firefighters saw him off from Spirit of St. Louis Airport.

Officer Ryan O’Connor made some “small but significant improvements,” including the removal of a ventilator and opening his eyes on Thursday, police said. (Photo/Arnold PD)
Officer Ryan O’Connor made some “small but significant improvements,” including the removal of a ventilator and opening his eyes on Thursday, police said. (Photo/Arnold PD)

Police say Chad Klahs, 29, of Arnold, shot O’Connor on Dec. 5 before fatally shooting himself, all while handcuffed in the back of O’Connor’s police SUV.

The shooting was on the parking lot of police headquarters, just yards from the police sally port where O’Connor was heading with Klahs.

O’Connor underwent a five-hour surgery after the shooting and in the weeks since continued to receive medical treatment that included more surgeries and a medically induced coma.

He has been treated at St. Anthony’s Medical Center and St. Louis University Hospital.

On Thursday, the Arnold Police Department posted a message on its Facebook page saying O’Connor, 44, had made some “small but significant improvements,” including the removal of a ventilator and opening his eyes.

On Monday, the department posted an update to its Facebook page noting that O’Connor will become at least the fourth St. Louis area police officer to be treated at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo.

The hospital is renowned for spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation.

Ballwin Officer Michael Flamion was the first.

He was shot during a traffic stop July 8, 2016, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor joined Flamion there for about two months after he was paralyzed from the chest down during an on-duty car crash on Aug. 25, 2016.

St. Louis police Officer Gary Glasby spent several months there and another facility in Nebraska recovering from a traumatic brain injury he suffered during a car accident while on duty. He returned in December.

Flamion and Tudor were among those at the airport to see O’Connor off on Monday.


©2018 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Get well Boss. Does this shooting "Go along with the territory" too. No Ins. from the State..No Disability Ins.?
Posted by TX/LTC at 1/9/2018 1:50:50 PM

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