CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau's police chief is recovering after he was hit in the neck with a mortar on Tuesday, July 4.
According to Chief Wes Blair, officers were dealing with someone who had been shooting mortars at a house when a group of juveniles fired a mortar at officers.
"Fortunately, I took the brunt of it and none of my troops were hurt," Blair said.
Chief Blair said officers and civilians are shot at with fireworks each Independence Day holiday.
"Sometimes juveniles will get into a group and the group thing takes over and they start firing at vehicles that are driving by," Blair said. "Whether it's a regular citizen's vehicle or a police vehicle it really doesn't matter that much."
The chief said he and his officers take extra precautions when they're out on patrol on Independence Day. According to Blair, some officers wear safety glasses that night and they always keep their windows rolled up as they drive around town.
Chief Blair has a welt on his neck from the incident and the collar of his uniform was burned as well. But, he said it could have been much worse. He's thankful his injury was minor.
"I've injured myself worse through shaving," said Blair with a smile.
The people who shot the fireworks at officers were not caught. Blair said they face first-degree assault charges if found.