A U.S. Park Police officer opened fire on an SUV, injuring a passenger, after the officer was dragged by the vehicle during a traffic stop in Northeast Washington yesterday, D.C. police said.
The officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries to a shoulder and a leg, said Sgt. Scott Fear, a Park Police spokesman. The officer, whose name was not released because he is considered a witness, was airlifted to Washington Hospital Center by a Park Police helicopter.
The SUV passenger also was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, D.C. police said. The alleged driver of the vehicle was later apprehended.
The incident began about 2:30 p.m. near the Greyhound bus station. The officer was making a traffic stop, said Cmdr. Thomas McGuire of the 1st Police District. The officer exited his vehicle and approached the passenger of a blue Chevrolet Suburban in the area of North Capitol and K streets NE, D.C. police said.
The passenger rolled up his window, trapping the officer's arm as the SUV sped along North Capitol, D.C. police said. The officer, who was dragged for about a block and half, fired several rounds into the interior of the vehicle before he was thrown clear of it. The vehicle hit two parked cars as it continued east on L Street NE.
McGuire said the SUV was then followed by two off-duty D.C. police officers in separate vehicles who were in the area. The SUV was abandoned in the 500 block of Oklahoma Avenue NE, and the driver escaped, McGuire said.
Police later found the alleged driver, identified last night as Kelvin L. Martin, hiding under another vehicle in an alley. Martin, 27, of the 100 block of P Street SW, faces assault with intent to kill and other charges.
The passenger, identified as Robert W. Hawkins, was taken to Howard University Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. Hawkins, 54, was charged with assault on a police officer.
Immediately after the incident, traffic slowed to a crawl on the streets surrounding the bus station as police roped off some of the area, including two blocks of L Street.
Next to the bus station behind the police tape, at least two parked cars appeared to have been struck by the vehicle. A white SUV had been pushed into a small tree, and a taxicab in front of it had a crushed back end.
Khream Burruss said he had been standing on the sidewalk outside the bus station when he heard the SUV strike wooden poles on one side of L Street and then saw it crash into parked cars on the other side. Burruss said he got into his car to try to follow the SUV but gave up when he heard on his radio that the vehicle had been found.