Man wanted for shooting officer killed in police shootout after pursuit into Illinois

Friday, February 9, 2024

EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Ill. — A man wanted for shooting a police officer on Tuesday, Feb. 6 in Granite City, Illinois, was shot and killed following a pursuit into Illinois late Wednesday night.

Donald J. Friese of Granite City led police on a chase across the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge that eventually ended after Friese became stuck in a field in East Cape.

The suspect allegedly barricaded himself in his vehicle with a rifle and fired at the officers who responded with shots of their own, killing Friese. A video circulating on social media provided audio of the encounter, which began with officers giving commands via loudspeaker and a single gunshot — allegedly fired by the suspect — followed by dozens of gunshots fired in response by police.

“Our officers put their lives on the line in this incident to protect our citizens and, we are beyond happy to report, each of them are going home safe to their families,” a Facebook post by the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police-Lodge No. 51 stated. “As we always highlight on our page, Cape Girardeau is safer today because of the work of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police-Lodge 51 and the Cape Girardeau Police Department.”

According to a news release from the Cape Girardeau Police Department, officers received a FLOCK alert about a vehicle being driven by a suspect believed to be linked to an officer-involved shooting from another jurisdiction at approximately 8:33 p.m.

Officers located the suspect’s vehicle at approximately 8:37 p.m. and attempted to conduct a traffic stop in the 2100 block of William St. The driver, later identified as Friese, refused to stop the vehicle and led officers on a pursuit across the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.

Cape Girardeau police officers attempted to “quickly and safely terminate the pursuit” by using stop sticks on the bridge. However, as the suspect approached the bridge, he drove into oncoming traffic to avoid being stopped.

Officers pursued Friese into East Cape Girardeau, Ill., where he became stuck in a field following a short chase. Friese allegedly barricaded himself in his vehicle with a rifle, refusing to follow commands given by officers. Friese then allegedly aimed the gun at officers, which prompted them to open fire. Multiple rounds were fired into the vehicle, and the suspect was later pronounced dead.

Friese was wanted after allegedly opening fire on police officers following an altercation with them in Granite City on Tuesday night, injuring one.

“As (officers) were talking to him, his actions indicated something more was going on, so the officers became a little more suspicious of his activities,” Granite City Police Chief Nicholas Novavich said during a news conference Wednesday morning. “When they tried to engage with him and talk to him further, it turned into a scuffle. In the scuffle, one of our officers was shot in the arm. He received a through-and-through wound, it was non-life threatening and that officer is now home safe and recovering.”

Friese is known to have a history of criminal activity, including spending time in prison for the second-degree murder of 18-year-old Mercedes Ferrarie-Troisi in 2013. Friese was convicted after pleading guilty in the case over an accusation of stolen marijuana that ended in a car chase and the fatal crash that killed Ferrarie-Troisi.

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