2.11.15 Pursuit, Officer Involved Shooting

11 February 2015 by Todd Umstead

     At 11:31 am, February 11, 2015, Lancaster County Wide Communication received several calls regarding a vehicle (a white Chevrolet Impala) driving erratically in the area of the 200 blk. of N. Queen St. The call was dispatched as a possible DUI in progress. A Lancaster City Police bicycle officer observed the vehicle and directed the driver to stop the vehicle. The driver did not stop and attempted to run into the officer with his vehicle. The vehicle fled north on Queen St., then west on Lemon St. Additional responding units were assisted by Lancaster Community Safety Coalition cameras in locating the vehicle in the area of Prince St. and Lemon St..

       A marked police vehicle activated its emergency lights and siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle failed to pull over and led officers on a pursuit, continuing west on Lemon St., west on Buchanon Ave., south on President Ave., east on Columbia Ave., east on King St., west on Manor St, and then attempted to turn right onto Campbell Ave. where it struck the corner of a building. Officers then ordered the driver out of the vehicle, but the driver put the car in reverse, nearly running over a police officer. One of the officers then fired his service weapon at the driver, who was still behind the wheel, striking the driver one time in the left upper leg. The driver then attempted to drive forward, striking the building again. The driver continued to refuse commands and would not exit the vehicle. Officers were eventually able to remove the driver from the vehicle and take him into custody. He was immediately transported to a local hospital by police officers at the scene. The driver appeared to be highly intoxicated.

     During the pursuit, the Chevy Impala struck several cars, both parked (unoccupied) and occupied. He also committed numerous traffic violations, to include driving through red lights. The entire pursuit lasted approximately 7-8 minutes. Despite the extremely reckless and dangerous actions of this individual at a time when numerous pedestrians and vehicles were present, no civilians or officers were injured during this incident. The driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, is a 37-year-old city resident. He remains hospitalized and is facing numerous charges in connection to this incident. More details, to include the driver’s name and charges filed, will be released at a later time. The investigation is ongoing.