The suburban St. Louis police officer shot in the neck during a traffic stop on July 8 is paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator, unable to breathe on his own, says Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott. Michael Flamion is, however, "very alert," able to move his head, mouth words, and "make sounds, and his wife knows every word he says," Scott tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In a press conference Monday, he added Flamion would've died had he not received help from paramedics and a witness who called 911 and performed CPR. Two other passers-by, including a nurse, also stopped to help him. "A nurse drove by and she told my wife to get a towel, so she ran in and grabbed a pillowcase that's on our stairwell, ran back out and put it on his neck and stopped the bleeding," a man says, per CBS News.
Some $237,000 has been raised for Flamion, who will require "extensive long-term care" for "catastrophic" spinal cord damage, Scott says. "I've heard the word 'severed,' but there will have to be additional analysis after the swelling goes down," he adds. A day after five police officers were killed in Dallas, Flamion, 31, was shot in the left side of his neck around 11am as he walked back to his patrol car to do a records check during a stop in Ballwin. Officers say the suspect—who had a history of gun-related crimes and possibly hoped to avoid being caught with a gun—fired shots as Flamion's back was turned, then fled to nearby Manchester, where he was arrested. Antonio Taylor, 31, is charged with first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action, and unlawful possession of a weapon. (Read more St. Louis stories.)