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Officer Shoots Suspect

Traffic altercation leads to random shooting.

An Alexandria police officer remains assigned to administrative duties, after shooting a suspect last Saturday night.

The officer, a 33-year veteran of the department, was not on duty at the time of the shooting. Police received a call about a traffic accident in the 700 block of North Jordan Street at about 6:45 p.m., April 19. A further report indicated that there was an armed suspect at the scene.

According to city police, two vehicles were involved in an accident. The suspect was driving a Lexus SC 300 and rear-ended a 2002 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The man got out of his Lexus and began shooting. According to the police, it was unclear where the suspect was shooting. However, the driver and a passenger in the pickup truck were not injured.

The off-duty police officer arrived on the scene, saw the suspect with a gun and fired his service weapon, a Glock .40-caliber, striking the suspect. The officer and others at the scene, including fire and rescue personnel, got possession of the suspect’s weapon.

The suspect remains in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center after undergoing surgery. The officer, who was not identified by the police department, was not injured.

“Most officers never fire their service weapons outside a training setting,” said Amy Bertsch, a spokesperson for the department. “This was the first time that this officer had ever done so in 33 years of service.”

Investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and the officer will remain on administrative duty until a final ruling is made.

The last time a city police officer was involved in a shooting was five years ago. That officer was subsequently runner-up for National Officer of the Year honors from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The officer fatally wounded a suspect who was brandishing a weapon on Duke Street. It was later learned that the man had been wanted in several rape cases throughout the metropolitan area.