The Warsaw police chief was wounded after exchanging gunfire with a 16-year-old suspect.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the shot hit Police Chief Jason Wenberg in his ballistics vest just before 8:15 a.m. Friday near Seminary and Washington Streets downtown. Wenberg returned fire and wounded the teenager during a confrontation Friday.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office said the teen led police on a chase in a stolen car Thursday night, during which the suspect fired shots a sheriff's vehicles. When Wenberg went to talk to the suspect Friday, an altercation began and the shots were fired.

Wenberg was taken to an area hospital by ambulance and later released. The suspect was taken to a hospital in Columbia by helicopter and is in serious condition.

Stray bullets from the shooting hit a nearby cabinet shop where Hunter Bagley works. He said that he and other workers were outside, getting ready to start their shift, when they had to take cover.

"It's a miracle no one was hit in the crossfire," he said. "Unfortunately, the officer was hit. I believe he's doing okay. It's really sad to see a kid that age go through that. God only knows why he did it. I wish he wouldn't have."

Bagley does not know the teenage suspect.

"The kid had pulled a gun from behind his . . . backpack," He said. "I don't know quite where he got it from. Then, he shot the officer in the shoulder. He kind of stumbled back a little before he pulled his firearm and attempted to take the kid down."

"You have to respect your officers," he said. "There was no reason to do such a thing to an officer. There was no reason to try and take someone else's life."

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