WOODBRIDGE, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia police officer was seriously injured after authorities say he was struck by a stolen car he was attempting to stop.
According to Prince William County Police, the officer spotted the stolen vehicle on a side street in Woodbridge around 11 p.m. Thursday. Police had been on the lookout for the 2012 Dodge Journey after its owner reported it stolen about an hour earlier from a nearby 7-11 where the keys had been left inside the SUV.
Police say that as the officer was at the driver’s side window, the driver inside sped away and made a U-turn.
The driver then sped directly at the officer, according to police. The officer opened fire before he was struck by the car. The car crashed and flipped onto its side, and the driver fled on foot.
Police say the suspect was found around 1:30 a.m. Friday after an extensive search and did not appear to have been injured by the officer’s gunfire. The 18-year-old has been charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated malicious wounding, felony hit and run, felony eluding and felony grand larceny auto theft.
The officer was taken to the hospital with a serious head injury, but police said Friday he is expected to make a full recovery.