A St. Louis police commander on special patrol to curb a spike in street violence said a suspect looked him "dead in the eye" and fired a pistol at him in his unmarked vehicle.

Major Joseph Spiess was wearing his uniform and patrolling in an unmarked Chevy Impala by himself at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, when the suspect ambushed him. The suspect looked at the officer, raised his pistol, and fired, Spiess tells the Post-Dispatch.

The suspect fired at least two shots, before the officer accellerated his vehicle away from the threat. The officer was not hit by the gunfire. "He know who he was shooting at," Spiess said. "He absolutely knew I was a policeman."

Police later arrested Robert Simmons, 19, in connection with the shooting. Police charged Simmons with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action. Demetrius Vanarsdale, 24, was also arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest.

Spiess had gone out on patrol as part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department's increased presence following a violent Monday that counted 18 people injured in eight separate incidents, reports the Riverfront Times.

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