Ballwin, Missouri, named as “One of America’s Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine in 2005, 2011 and 2013, is a dynamic community of 30,404 (2010 census) located in the heart of prestigious West St. Louis County. It touts a low crime rate due to highly trained Police Department which provides the full range of police protection, investigation and community services. (From ballwin.mo.us)
On July 8, a sunny Friday morning, Officer Mike Flamion stopped a car for speeding on a residential street. As Officer Flamion had most probably done hundreds of times in his career, he approached the car and spoke to the driver. As he was returning to his patrol vehicle, the driver, later identified as Antonio Taylor of St. Louis, exited his vehicle and approached Officer Flamion from the rear and shot at him three times, one bullet striking Officer Flamion in the neck.
Officer Flamion immediately fell to the ground critically wounded. The next several days were touch and go as to whether Officer Flamion would live or die from his injuries. Officer Flamion has survived his wounds but has sustained life-altering injuries, paralyzed from the neck down. Officer Flamion is currently breathing through a tracheotomy tube in his neck but is now able to drink liquids and eat soft foods. The coming days, months and years will be extremely hard on Officer Flamion and his family and as one of his friends so succinctly put it, Officer Flamion is “living our nightmare”. He and his family will continue to need our thoughts, prayers and financial support.
The Ballwin community has shown its continuing support for Officer Flamion by hosting several different fund raisers and currently a GoFundMe account https://www.gofundme.com/2dj4rtnt, has raised $324,000 of the $345,000 goal.
Unbeknownst to Officer Flamion, his attacker was no stranger to the judicial system. Antonio Taylor, 31, of St. Louis had been arrested and convicted several times.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on July 27, Taylor’s criminal history in Missouri includes a “2011 conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. In those cases, he was given a two-year prison sentence.
He served prison time in Oklahoma for robbery from November 2006 to January 2009. After getting out of prison, court records say Taylor was stopped by officers in Beckham County, Okla., in July 2009 for faulty headlights and was found with a loaded .22-caliber rifle lying on the floor of the car. The rifle had been reported stolen out of St. Louis. Taylor was later sentenced to federal prison for 30 months for a conviction of being a felon in possession of a gun. He was released last year.”
Taylor is currently being held on charges of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a weapon with a $1,000,000 bond. So why did Taylor think he needed to shoot Officer Flamion? At this time, no motive has been publicized. Did he have active warrants for his arrest and didn’t want to go back to prison, or did he just want to kill a cop? So far, we don’t know, but what we do know is that Officer Flamion, his wife and family’s lives are changed forever and he is now “living our nightmare.”
For more information concerning upcoming events to support Officer Flamion and the Ballwin Police Department, click here.
UPDATE: Officer Flamion has now been transported to a rehabilitation center in Colorado for further treatment.