Caruthersville police officer killed in the line of duty - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Caruthersville police officer killed in the line of duty

Caruthersville police officer Evan Burns during a July interview about his eye injury. Caruthersville police officer Evan Burns during a July interview about his eye injury.
Deonta Jamarr Williamson (Source: Pemiscot Co. Sheriff's Office) Deonta Jamarr Williamson (Source: Pemiscot Co. Sheriff's Office)
Officer Burn's police cruiser Officer Burn's police cruiser
The suspect's Cadillac Escalade The suspect's Cadillac Escalade

(WMC-TV/KFVS) - An Missouri man faces murder charges after police say he hit and killed a Caruthersville police officer Tuesday morning with a stolen vehicle.

According to Pemiscot County Sheriff Tommy Greenwell, Evan Burns, 28, of Caruthersville was killed in the crash on Highway 84 about two miles northwest of town.

Deonta Jamarr Williamson, 29, of O'Fallon and Hayti is charged with first degree murder, armed criminal action, first degree assault, tampering with a motor vehicle, and resisting arrest by feeling.

Greenwell said  the crash was the ending to a chase involving an assault suspect from O'Fallon, Missouri.

In a release from the sheriff, around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday Pemiscot County deputies spotted a 2002 Cadillac Escalade SUV going south on Interstate 55 just north of Hayti.

The sheriff's office verified this was the same stolen vehicle from O'Fallon.  The suspect was wanted to assault first degree and auto theft.

Sheriff's deputies tried to pull the driver of the Escalade over but the driver did not stop.

The driver of the Escalade left the interstate and went on to Highway 84 going toward Caruthersville.

At this point two Caruthersville police officers, Evan Burns and Richard Altice, stopped in separate police cars to set up spike strips.

Then, according to the Caruthersville police chief, the suspect did stop on 84.  The two Caruthersville officers heard this and did not deploy the spike strips. But when the suspect once again took off they tried to block the highway with their cars.

According to the sheriff the suspect hit Officer Altice's car, injuring the officer, and then rammed his Escalade broadside into Officer Burn's cruiser.

The sheriff says the impact of the crash killed Officer Burns.

"It's a devastating blow to our department," said Caruthersville Police Chief Chris Riggs.  "I think it's setting in as time goes on that he's gone."

Officer Burns was also involved in a July incident when he was hit in the eye with a firework while on duty.

"You always know the possibility of something bad happening in this line of work," Riggs said. "It's a sacrifice that we make to serve the public. You have to have that in your heart. Evan had that. He was a good officer."

Evan Burns had been with the Caruthersville Police Department for two years. He was unmarried but is survived by a 1-year-old son.

Williamson was taken to the Pemiscot County Jail with no bond.  He is set to appear before Circuit Judge Byron Luber Thursday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. for arraignment.

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