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Police: Officer in critical condition after being shot, suspect dead

Ryan O'Conner, 44, was taking a handcuffed burglary suspect to the police department for booking when the man somehow managed to shoot the officer. (KRCG 13)

A man suspected of shooting a suburban St. Louis police officer has died from what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities said 29-year-old Chad Klahs of Arnold died Tuesday after shooting Arnold, Missouri, officer Ryan O'Conner in the head.

O'Conner was taking the suspect to the police station for booking following his arrest for stealing a gun from a home. But Jefferson County Sheriff's Capt. Gary Higginbotham says police were unaware that the suspect had a second gun that was apparently stolen from a vehicle.

Klahs was handcuffed in the back of the police SUV but managed to shoot the officer. Police believe Klahs then turned the gun on himself.

O'Conner was hospitalized in critical condition and was in surgery late Tuesday.

Higginbotham said Klahs was well-known to police and his criminal history included unlawful use of a weapon.

Editor's Note: The story and headline have been updated to reflect the latest information.

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