On the night of Monday, June 1, St. Louis was a battlefield. Parts of the city were at the mercy of Antifa-backed looters and rioters, who were burning down businesses and stealing their contents. The violent protestors were hurling gasoline at police officers and then throwing fireworks, aiming to burn them alive. Gunfire could be heard throughout the city as officers repeatedly came under fire from the mob.
That night, retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn was shot and killed while trying to protect a business; four other police officers were also evacuated to the hospital with gunshot wounds in separate incidents.
Ryan Murphy, one of the officers, would have probably died on the spot if it weren’t for a fellow officer and former Navy SEAL.
Displaying extraordinary calm under fire, Joe Busso, a member of the St. Louis Police Department SWAT Team, provided critical first aid to Murphy before evacuating him to the hospital.
A United States Marine, who is now a member of Missouri law enforcement, described to SOFREP how Busso, a member of the St. Louis Police Department SWAT Team, applied life-saving treatment to save fellow officer Ryan Murphy.
“Things were terrible that night. The streets were crazy with gunfire and the radio traffic was nonstop with report after report of guys under fire,” said the former Marine. “The average person has no idea how violent and lawless the streets of St. Louis have become. Criminals are operating with impunity, using long guns to fire hundreds of rounds at police officers. Looters are running rampant. The police are brave, but they have no leadership and no support from the Mayor, the Governor, or anyone.”
The riots began after the death of George Floyd, an African American man, during his arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“But in the middle of it all, the guys on the street are doing some really heroic stuff,” added the former Marine. “Murphy was shot, and was down on his back, and Busso comes in, takes off and applies his tourniquet, stops the bleeding, uses his trauma shears, checks the wound, throws Murphy in a car, and gets him to the hospital. It was f*cking awesome – a Marine would have been even more f*cking awesome, but seriously, credit to Busso.”
Busso graduated from the grueling Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) selection course in 2001. A trained sniper, Busso completed several deployments in support of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) with SEAL Teams 4 and 8. He joined the St. Louis Police Department in 2008.
Joe Busso declined to comment for this story but said through a supervisor that he was only doing his job and that all of the credit should go to other officers, including his fellow members of the SWAT team, and his partner, Joe Bell.
SOFREP has learned that Busso continues the family legacy as his father was also a St. Louis City police officer. Moreover, Busso and his partner, Detective Sergeant Joe Bell, have a reputation for intelligent, street-savvy police work among the force.
A former SWAT team member said about the incident that, “Murphy was shot really close to the femoral artery. Everybody knows how fast you can bleed out from that kind of gunshot. It was just really good that he got there to act that fast.”
Murphy and Busso were classmates in the police academy.
Despite the police’s actions, the situation in St. Louis resembles more of a third-world battlefield than an American city. Another member of the SWAT team, who spoke to SOFREP on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, said that the police in St. Louis right now have no leadership. “The guys are basically self-deploying, and just trying to figure things out. There is no plan.” This information corroborates SOFREP’s understanding that the situation in both the city and state is off the rails because of a lack of political leadership.
Referencing the riots that ANTIFA attempted, but which were put down in 2017, another SWAT officer said, “During Stockley [the 2017 riots] we had things wired tight. There was a real sense of mission and clarity and morale was high. This couldn’t be more different. This is the worst it’s ever been. Guys are getting shot at. The criminals are running the city now. It’s like goddamn Somalia, without the RPGs. And it’s not just shooting. There are carjackings, looting, theft, and the criminals know that no matter what they do, they aren’t going to face any consequences.”
Kimberly Gardner, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, recently released every looter in the city of St. Louis back onto the streets and declined to charge any of them. Gardner has a long history of anti-police rhetoric. She is also the one who falsely charged former Navy SEAL officer and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, a pro-law enforcement politician, despite having no evidence. Gardner’s lead investigator has now been charged with 7 felonies for what he did against Greitens, and Gardner remains under active criminal investigation.
During his tenure, Greitens had successfully dealt with the Antifa groups that had threatened to destroy St. Louis in 2017.
Referring to the former St. Louis Police Chief who was killed, a SWAT team member said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that Dorn is dead because Kim Gardner is in office, and Greitens is gone. We won this in 2017. It’s not that f*cking complicated. But when all the politicians abandon us, or turn on us, then you get police officers shot and good men dead.”
Reached for comment, former Governor Greitens said, “I’m proud of Joe. Yeah, it’s cool that he was a SEAL, but man I’m proud of every single one of our officers and firefighters on the street.”
Asked why things were different in 2017, Greitens said, “The frontline police officers and firefighters deserve all the credit. They did all the work. All I did, was made sure that we had a strategic plan, operational clarity, and that – most importantly – the guys on the frontline had everything they needed, including the knowledge that I had their back.”
During those riots, Greitens had been clear that the police was there to ensure the people’s right to assembly and peaceful protest. But that they were also there to deal with any destabilizing groups who sought to derail the peaceful protests with violence.
Asked about the current leadership during the riots in St. Louis, Greitens said, “Look, man, when we went through this we had a great chief in Larry O’Toole. I was behind him. He was behind his guys. I had guys like Mike Deeba pulling together great operational and tactical plans; how we were going to use undercover officers, how we were going to deploy the National Guard; how we were going to use prison buses when necessary. I could name a dozen guys on the force in St. Louis or Kansas City – all of them smart and tough – they deserve the credit and the coverage. But instead the media is focused on promoting Kim Gardner’s latest garbage. Compare how much coverage they give her, to how much they give to a guy like Joe Busso. They glorify the woman who lets looters loose. It’s a tragedy. Our officers and our state deserve better. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that guys like Busso are still serving like the heroes they are.”