WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut police officer, trapped inside a moving stolen vehicle, shot and killed the suspect who was behind the wheel, the local police department’s chief said Wednesday.
“Repeated efforts and orders to stop the vehicle” were made by the officer before he ultimately shot the suspect, West Hartford Police Chief Vernon Riddick Jr. said during a news conference. The chaotic scene occurred during rush hour Tuesday afternoon on a busy local street in the Hartford suburb.
“He was inside the vehicle. The vehicle took off across the street and inside the vehicle he discharged his weapon,” Riddick said of the officer, who sustained head injuries after the vehicle finally struck a telephone pole.
The suspect, who received CPR at the scene, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The chaos began when police first received a report of a stolen vehicle on Tuesday afternoon. They used tire-deflation devices to try and stop it, but the vehicle kept moving before eventually crashing. Two suspects ran off from the vehicle on foot. One was captured and arrested. The second suspect ran to a nearby car service center, fought with an employee in a service bay while trying to steal a second vehicle, Riddick said.
When the officer arrived at that scene, he got into the vehicle with his police dog during an attempt to arrest the suspect. The suspect, however, drove off with the officer inside. The stolen vehicle hit a police cruiser and another vehicle before the officer ultimately fired his gun, Riddick said.
The incident is being investigated by the state’s Office of Inspector General.
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