U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

St. Louis TV reporter shot with pellet gun, suspect arrested

Incident Details

Date of Incident
November 20, 2023
St. Louis, Missouri


Was the journalist targeted?

Security footage shared by KTVI captured the moment when reporter Andy Banker, standing, at right, and photojournalist Brian Ledford were shot at with pellet guns by multiple individuals in a car while reporting in St. Louis, Missouri, on Nov. 20, 2023.

November 20, 2023

KTVI-TV reporter Andy Banker was shot by a pellet gun while reporting in St. Louis, Missouri, on Nov. 20, 2023. Banker was not seriously injured and a suspect has since been arrested on charges of assault.

Banker reported for KTVI that he was standing on a residential street in South St. Louis at around 12:45 p.m., using his phone to send an email, when a car drove past.

“Photographer Brian Ledford and I first heard the rapid fire, then saw what appeared to be gel-blaster-style guns made for airsoft games,” he said. “There were male teens firing pellets directly at us from the front and rear passenger seats.”

Banker said that the pellets struck him in the head and torso, but that he was not seriously injured. Ledford was not struck.

“I felt something hit me in the side of my head, near my ear, and it hurt quite a bit,” Banker said in an interview with KTFK-FM. “I bent over and checked to see if I was bleeding, I didn’t know what happened.”

In a social media post, Banker called the incident “extremely unnerving.” Neither Banker nor Ledford responded to requests for comment.

KTVI reported on Nov. 21 that St. Louis Metropolitan Police arrested the alleged driver, a juvenile, and are still searching for the two passengers who are suspected of firing the gel-blaster guns.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].