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Teen On Bike Killed During Police Chase, Driver Faces Murder, DUI Charges

Teen On Bike Killed During Police Chase
Driver Faces Murder, DUI Charges
UPDATED 7:28 AM CST Nov 09, 2007

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. —A 17-year-old boy on a bicycle was hit and killed during a police pursuit Thursday night.

The pursuit started at 39th Street and Lee’s Summit Road when police spotted two speeding cars that seemed to be chasing each other.

One of the cars disappeared and the other turned onto Noland Road, weaving through traffic.

Authorities said the driver struck the boy at Noland Road and Osage Avenue when the boy was crossing the street on his bike.

The suspects kept going.

“They weren’t stopping for anybody,” an officer said.

The driver and passenger were found in a wooded area near Noland Road and taken into custody.

Prosecutors said the driver, 24-year-old Wilfredo J. Pujols Jr., was charged with second-degree felony murder, resisting arrest, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while intoxicated.

Pujols is a cousin of St. Louis Cardinals baseball player Albert Pujols.

‘A Very Sweet Guy’

The teen killed was identified as Christopher E. Cooper, a junior at Truman High School.

Friends gathered Friday at Santa Fe Park in Independence to honor Cooper, who liked to skateboard there.

“Chris is a very sweet guy. He cared about everybody — such a sweet guy,” friend Tasha Contello said. “He didn’t deserve it. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Friends said Cooper rode his bike all the time.

“He said, ‘I’m on my way home.’ That was the last text I got from him,” Contello said.