ALERT: Police searching for missing college student

Witness: Officer yelled ‘Get on the ground’ twice before opening fire

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. — Virginia State Police are investigating after officials say a chase led to an officer-involved shooting in Colonial Heights on Sunday morning.

According to Colonial Heights police, an officer tried to pull over a vehicle for a traffic violation around 11:30 a.m. That’s when police said the female driver fled and a chase ensued.

The pursuit ended about a mile away at the intersection of Yacht Basin Drive and Wildwood Avenue when the suspect got out of her vehicle and pulled out a gun. That’s when police said the officer opened fire.

One witness told CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns that he heard the officer yell twice for the suspect to get on the ground. A few seconds later he reported hearing three to four gunshots.

The female suspect was taken to VCU Medical Center with unknown injuries.

Police, who have not yet released the woman’s name, have also not said why she pulled out the gun.

Chris Deans, who saw the police cruiser fly down Yacht Basin Drive, said that if all the details he has heard are correct, he thinks the officer did the right thing.

“The officer must have either felt his life was threatened or that it was a justified situation,” Dean said. “This could have escalated into a much worse situation than it was.”

Use of force by police is a major national discussion after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

According to Sgt. Ruxer with Colonial Heights police, state police are taking over to conduct an independent investigation.

“In this case we want an unbiased opinion, an outside agency, to come in and assist,” Ruxer said. “Somebody who doesn’t have any interest in our police department to investigate.”

Stay with WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for updates on this story.

 

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