By Allan Lengel and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 6, 2006
An off-duty police officer in the Secret Service's uniformed division was wounded last night in Southeast Washington in an exchange of gunfire during an attempt to steal his car.
It was the second time yesterday that shots were fired when gunmen tried to take a police officer's car in the District.
In last night's incident, The Secret Service officer was hit in the hand about 9:40 p.m. at a service station at Pennsylvania and Branch Avenues, according to Inspector Alton Bigelow of the 6th Police District.
The officer, who was not identified by name, was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The Secret Service officer, who was not in uniform, was filling the tank of his late-model Jeep when the would-be carjacker stepped out of an automobile, Bigelow said.
The assailant approached and demanded the officer's vehicle. The officer drew his gun, and the exchange of shots followed.
It was unclear last night how many shots were fired, but markers placed at the scene indicated the presence of about half a dozen spent cartridges.
After the shooting, the robber returned to his car and fled. At least one other person was inside, police said.
The Jeep remained at the scene last night. The window on its driver's side was shattered, apparently by gunfire.
The Secret Service's uniformed division patrols the White House and its grounds, as well embassies.
The earlier incident also occurred at a service station east of the Anacostia River. Robbers, at least one of them with a gun, seized a vehicle from an off-duty Prince George's County officer in the 3300 block of Benning Road NE, police said.
The officer fired at the robbers during the carjacking, police said.
Police who were searching for the officer's car found it about 10 minutes later, in another east-of-the-river neighborhood.
They said two suspects were taken into custody in the incident. One had a gunshot wound.