A Martinsville police officer was taken to the hospital after being shot Wednesday night, and authorities say a suspect is in custody.
At about 9:40 p.m. on New Year’s Day, the officer attempted to stop a 2002 Toyota pickup truck for a traffic violation inside city limit at the intersection of Memorial Boulevard and Askin Street.
The Toyota’s driver, a 37-year-old Martinsville man, refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated, according to state police.
Later, as the driver went down Theatre Street in Henry County, he jumped from the moving vehicle and ran away.
Meanwhile, according to police, the Toyota continued to roll down an embankment, cross over Joseph Martin Highway and crash into an embankment.
No other vehicles were struck during the pursuit or by the driverless pickup, according to police.
Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassady said that once police found the suspect, the pursuit ended in gunfire in front of the Glen Ridge Apartments.
Both an officer and the suspect were hit in the exchange. The suspect’s firearm was recovered at the scene, according to state police.
Authorities say it’s unclear how many shots were fired and how many times each person was hit.
The police officer who was shot was flown to Wake Forest Baptist Health in North Carolina and is still being treated for a non-life-threatening injury.
The suspect was flown to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries sustained in the shooting.
Neighbors in the area said they heard screaming and then gunfire. A pickup truck was left in the front of one home; the woman living there said it was the suspect’s truck and that it crashed into her front yard at the end of the chase.
Virginia State Police is investigating per standard policy following an officer-involved shooting.
The investigation remains ongoing at this time and charges are pending.
Source: WSLS News 10