A driver fleeing a traffic stop shot at the officer chasing him, striking the police cruiser at least twice, and Fairfax County Police are looking for that driver.
The officer tried to make a traffic stop on Georgetown Pike after seeing a white, four-door sedan run a red light at Walker Road in the Great Falls area about 11:45 p.m. Sunday. The driver did not stop until after making a left turn on Rossmore Court. A passenger jumped out and ran, police said, and the driver continue to flee.
The driver then turned around in a cul-de-sac, drove straight at the police cruiser and opened fired, police said. The cruiser was struck at least twice -- once in the hood near the windshield on the driver's side and one in the right rear quarter panel.
The officer was not injured.
"Anybody that's willing to shoot at a marked police car knowing it's a police officer is a danger not only to the brave men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department but to each and every member of our community," Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said. "We need to bring the suspect to justice."
The officer continued to follow the suspect but lost sight of the vehicle in a hilly and wooded area. The car was last seen traveling westbound on Georgetown Pike, police said.
Police searched the area for the vehicle and the passenger who jumped out of the vehicle but failed to locate anyone.
“I am grateful that our officer went home safe last night … Their actions are not only dangerous and deadly to law enforcement but they are a threat to the entire community," Roessler said in a department-wide message Monday.
The vehicle may have been a white Toyota or Mazda from the late 1990s to early 2000s. The car had black molding on the doors and the passenger side window may have been shattered.
Investigators are reviewing video from the police car to learn as much as possible about the suspect vehicle, police said.
Although the officer is unharmed, he's not allowed back on patrol duty yet. Police must conduct a threat assessment to determine whether he was targeted, the chief said.
"These suspects attempted to murder a police officer, and I beg for your help," Roessler said.
Anyone with information that can help police is asked to call police at 703-691-2131.