Police chief home with family after bullet-proof vest saves his life

WARSAW, Mo. --- The community of Warsaw, Missouri, is rallying behind its police chief after he was shot in the chest Friday.

“I’ve got a pretty good bruise and a little bit of a wound, but it’s OK,” Jason Wenberg told WDAF.

The chief is back home with his family after being shot by a 16-year-old suspect Friday morning.

According to the Benton County Sheriff's Department, the 16-year-old led officers on a high-speed pursuit Thursday night while driving a stolen car. At one point the suspect fired at a patrol vehicle, but no one was injured at that time.

The sheriff's department said the suspect then drove at a high rate of speed traveling south in the northbound lane. He eventually abandoned his vehicle at the off-ramp of the Dam Access Road and ran into the woods.

Henry County Sheriff's Office deployed a K-9 team to track the teen for several hours.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says at approximately 8:15 a.m. Friday someone notified a Warsaw officer of a suspicious person near Main Street and Seminary Street.

When they tried to contact the suspect, a fight happened. The suspect fired at Wenberg. The shot hit the police chief in his vest, which stopped the bullet. He was able to return fire and hit the suspect.

Wenberg and his family said the incident went from one of the scariest moments of their lives to the most relieving.

He is now home safe with his wife and five daughters. He said the outpouring of support they’ve received has been truly humbling.

“It’s still sinking in,” Wenberg said.

Wenberg has been chief of Warsaw police officially since February.

“I was in the hospital for a few hours getting checked out, got bandaged,” Wenberg said.

He left the hospital around 11 a.m. Friday.

Warsaw Police Chief Jason Wenberg with his family after being released from the hospital Friday.

“It’s wonderful to be home with the kids,” Wenberg said, “to be here with the family.”