NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -
A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper remains hospitalized after being shot in the line of duty.
Investigators say Maurice Ely was shot several times during a traffic stop on Interstate 55 Saturday night.
According to the probable statement, Tonya Brown was stopped by a trooper for allegedly following another car too closely.
During the stop, Corporal Shane Stewart was called in to assist.
Investigators say a passenger in Brown's car, Michael Thomas, started shooting at Stewart, who was shot in the throat.
That's when the trooper who made the initial stop returned fire, shooting and killing Thomas.
Investigators say during the commotion, Ely was also shot several times.
According to court documents, a third passenger in the car, Jermaine Dennis, told police the group was taking about two pounds of marijuana from their home in Texas to sell in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Corporal Shane Stewart remains in the hospital recovering from that gunshot wound.
We're told he's doing well, no word on when he might be released from the hospital.
According to Trooper Clark Parrott, one of four suspects involved is dead, another is wounded. Trooper Parrott says all of the suspects were from Texas.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Michael D. Thomas, 26, of Dallas, Texas died after an exchange of gunfire with troopers. They say Thomas was wanted for harassment of a public servant and aggravated assault with a weapon in the state of Texas.
The driver and two passengers involved in the shooting were arrested, said Parrott.
Tonya M. Brown, 42, of Dallas, Texas; Jermaine K. Dennis, 24, of Mesquite, Texas; and Maurice A. Ely, 18, of Mesquite, Texas were all arrested and the three are charged with murder 2nd degree, possession of marijuana, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
"It was a routine traffic stop," said Trooper Parrott. "This is why really there are no routine traffic stops."
It happened around 10 p.m. Saturday night in the north bound lane of Interstate 55 in New Madrid County near the 56 mile marker.
Parrott says a state trooper stopped a red SUV and called in another trooper to assist.
According to Parrott, Corporal Stewart and another trooper approached the suspects in the vehicle. While talking with one of the four occupants outside of the vehicle, a passenger inside the vehicle shot at one of the troopers.
Parrott says the suspects in the vehicle began showing aggression and shots rang out.
Corporal Shane Stewart was shot and received a wound to the neck.
According to Parrott, both troopers were able to return fire. One of the occupants was killed and another shot and wounded.
"The front seat passenger was making some aggressive movements in the vehicle," explains Trooper Parrott. "A shot was fired striking the Missouri State Trooper in the chest area just above his bullet proof vest. Shots were returned into the car striking and fatally injuring one passenger. Another passenger had serious injuries and the other two passengers are in custody at this time."
Corporal Stewart was flown to Cape Girardeau hospital. The injured suspect was also flown to a Cape Girardeau hospital, according to Parrott.
Parrott tells Heartland News Corporal Stewart made it through surgery early Sunday morning with no complications. He is expected to make a full recovery.
According to Trooper Parrott, the suspect in hospital is expected to make a full recovery with non life threatening injuries.
"We put a bullet proof vest on and a gun everyday we go to work," said Trooper Parrott. "Not everybody is cut out to be in law enforcement. In the back of our minds we realize it could happen at any time."