Officer fires weapon during traffic stop

July 22, 2011 10:19:46 AM PDT
A traffic stop near Spencer Highway in Pasadena escalated overnight when the suspect refused to stop. The officer gave chase and investigators say at one point an officer felt threatened and fired his weapon. A Texaco on Spencer Highway at Westside is where all the trouble began early Friday morning when a traffic stop which quickly turned into something more.

Pasadena police tell us the driver of a pickup truck was driving erratically on Westside near Shaver when an officer tried to pull him over. The driver did pull into the nearby Texaco parking lot.

A surveillance camera recorded the traffic stop. Detectives came by to pick up a copy of what was recorded. The store owner would not give us a copy but did allow us to see it.

The entire traffic stop only lasted about 30 seconds. The patrol unit pulled in behind the truck, and the truck seemed to roll backwards toward the patrol unit as the officer gets out and approaches the pickup.

We could not see from the one perspective of the surveillance camera what caused the officer to pull his weapon and the police department has not released that information either. Although detectives left with a copy of the surveillance video, we haven't yet heard what they think of it. We do know what they believe happened after the officer fired his weapon, hitting the suspect in the left jaw.

"At that point the driver leaves the scene, he flees and it turned into about an eight or ten minute chase," explained Vance Mitchell with the Pasadena Police Department.

The driver hit a tree along the way but kept going, finally stopping a few miles away at Burke and Red Bluff. The suspect was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital. His injuries are not life threatening.

The officer who fired the weapon has been on the force with Pasadena PD for three years. An investigation remains underway.


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