Driver rams Chattanooga Police car in traffic stop, officer open - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Driver rams Chattanooga Police car in traffic stop, officer opens fire

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Chattanooga Police are looking for a man who rammed a cop car during a traffic stop Sunday night. The officer believed his life was in danger, so he opened fire.

The officer attempted to pull the driver over around 8 o'clock, when he pulled onto Windsor Court in Brainerd. As the officer got out, the driver backed into his vehicle and took off.

"Whoever the driver was, he was not stopping for anything," says Jace Brannon, who lives on Windsor Court.

Just as Jace Brannon was taking out his trash Sunday night, he says a dark-colored sedan came speeding down Windsor Court with a Chattanooga Police car right behind it. He says as they reached the dead end, the officer attempted to block the driver in.     

"A couple seconds later you hear like screeching and someone hit that cop car," says Brannon.

"As the officer exited his vehicle, the suspect vehicle came back towards him," says Chief Deputy David Roddy.

Roddy says the officer felt his life was in danger and  as the driver took off toward the officer's car, he fired his gun.

"I heard about 4 gunshots," says Brannon.

The officer got back in his car to catch up with the driver, but his car was too damaged.     

"The officer heard what sounded like a lot of noise coming from his vehicle and he believed that it had been severely damaged," says Roddy.

He says part of the suspect's bumper was stuck in the patrol car.

"That should be pretty indicative of the amount of force that was transferred from one vehicle to the other."

Investigators say the driver ditched the car and disappeared.

Brannon says police found a gun lying on the street. He believes the man threw it out the window of the car but police would not confirm if the suspect was armed.

Roddy says officers train for traffic stops like this one.    

"With traffic stops, especially when you're looking in the dark, that's probably one of the instances we train the most for in law enforcement because of it's frequency," says Roddy.

"I mean, his life definitely was threatened. I mean, I felt like my life was threatened. So, I definitely feel for the cop," says Brannon.

"We're thankful that at this time it looks like no one was injured," says Roddy.

Police have not released the name of the officer, only saying he has been on the force since 2010. Per department policy, he is on paid administrative leave while internal affairs investigates the shooting.

Police also have not released a description of the suspect, saying this was an isolated incident and investigators do not believe the man is a danger to the general public.

If caught, the driver faces charges of evading arrest and aggravated assault on an officer. 
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