The St. Louis Police Officers Association, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, is hosting a blood drive from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, June 10 , at its union hall at 3710 Hampton in South St. Louis.
The blood drive was scheduled in response to an incident yesterday near Grand Center where a 37-year-old St. Louis Police Officer was shot while trying to apprehend a subject who was wanted for violating his parole on a murder charge. The 13-year veteran of the department is recuperating at a St. Louis area hospital.
St. Louis Police Officers Association Business Manager, Jeff Roorda, said the officer is lucky to be alive.
“Our member nearly bled to death as a result of a gunshot wound to his upper leg. Were it not for police officers and U.S. Marshals at the scene applying a tourniquet and rushing the officer to the hospital in a police car, surgeons think we would have lost him. He lost a lot of blood and the ER staff worked quickly to push plasma and life-saving blood transfusions.
Authorities said Rodnell Cotton was wanted for a federal weapons charge and a parole violation on a murder charge. Cotton was traveling with a woman in a silver Audi with Illinois plates registered to another vehicle.
Cotton ran from the vehicle as officers approached and turned and shot at the officer who was chasing him, striking him in the upper thigh.
Another officer fired at Cotton during the chase, fatally wounding him.
The woman traveling in the vehicle with Cotton was taken into police custody.
PEOPLE WANT TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP
“When we have a close call like this, we hear from so many people in the community who love and respect the police and want to do something to help,” Roorda said. “It seemed like hosting a blood drive made the most sense given the amount of blood they had to use to save our officer. People just want to help, and this is a great way to do it as we approach the summer months when blood banks become depleted.”
Roorda added that people in the community that want to help with the blood shortage but can’t make the Monday blood drive at the police hall can donate at a blood drive tomorrow (Saturday, June 8) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Have Bible Will Travel at 1185 Shackleford in Florissant or schedule an appointment at a Red Cross donation center by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Roorda also said supporters who want to drop off cards or donations for the injured officers can bring them to the blood drive at the police hall on Monday.
Donors are encouraged to pre-register for the blood drive by visiting redcrossblood.org/rapidpass and using the code: STLPOA.