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Conflict & Tragedy

St. Louis Media Fail Reporting Accurate News On US Marshal Shooting

It seemed like no one in the St. Louis, Missouri area could get their story straight Tuesday morning. A little before 7:00 a.m. a shooting on the 3100 block of Osage in south St. Louis injured two U.S. marshals and a St. Louis city police officer, we think. The initial reports that broke around 7:00 a.m. were that one U.S. marshal was shot and the 3100 block of Osage was closed off.

Around 7:10 a.m. police scanners confirmed that the gunmen was down, as in, shot down, as in, probably dead. Everything that followed the rest of the morning was in all sense of the words, a mess. At first it was reported one U.S. marshal was shot but the story quickly changed to three U.S. marshals were shot. The number then changed to two U.S. marshals and one St. Louis city police officer was shot.

KMOV News 4 reported between the time of the incident and 8:30 a.m. on their live broadcast, website and Twitter that one of the shooting victims was confirmed dead. After running with the death report for minutes on the live broadcast they retracted what they said claiming they mistook the word "graze" for "grave". Supposedly, the St. Louis police officer was grazed by a bullet around the shoulder area, not a deadly shot at all.

KSDK News Channel 5 also ran with the story that three U.S. marshals were shot on the 3100 block of Osage around 7:00 a.m. An hour later they changed their story to two U.S. marshals and one officer were victims. They got the story right about the officer not suffering life threatening injuries. KSDK wins for knowing the difference between the words "graze" and "grave". Around 10:00 a.m. KSDK broke during a live broadcast at a hospital where the marshals were undergoing surgery, that one of the U.S. marshals had died from his injuries. Soon after they apologized saying the marshal was still alive. Fox 2 and STL Daily also had conflicting reports during the morning about what happened.

It wasn't only television that had the story wrong, St. Louis' Phillips and Company on Y98 (98.1 FM) reported between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. that a U.S. marshal was dead.

As of this afternoon, the reports are that one U.S. marshal is in critical condition, one is in fair condition and the St. Louis police officer has non life threatening wounds. The U.S. Marshals Service have apologized for the incorrect information that one of the marshals had passed away. The gunman's name was Carlos Boles. It is not known if he died from a self inflicted wound or if he was shot by police.

Currently, these are the headlines this afternoon about the U.S. marshals on various St. Louis media outlets:

"U.S. Marshal Clings To Life After Being Shot By Suspect" - Fox 2 St. Louis

"Suspect in US Marshals shooting dies" - KSDK

"Suspect who shot 2 U.S. Marshals and St. Louis police officer is dead" - KMOV