A D.C. police officer shot and wounded a man in Southeast on Tuesday after the man pulled out a gun, the police chief said.
The man was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening after the shooting in the 1700 block of Minnesota Avenue SE, Chief of Police Robert Contee told reporters. The officer was not hurt.
The officer was in the area of the shooting just before 6 p.m. when he was told there was someone nearby who was “engaged in narcotics use,” Contee said.
The officer “engaged that individual and began to send that individual on his way.” Then, he saw it was “possible” that the man had a gun. He called for backup.
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“As the officer attempted to stop this individual, this individual retrieved a firearm from the rear of his body, under his clothing,” Contee said.
The officer “made several attempts to get the individual to stop” and then fired at the man, hitting him.
The man was taken to a hospital.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the man fired the gun, the chief said.
Contee defended the officer and said he acted in self-defense.
“This is a brave officer who was out here doing his job, protecting the citizens of the District of Columbia,” the chief said. “He was really actually showing compassion by moving someone who was involved in the use of illegal drugs, moving that person on. But unfortunately this person was armed and decided to pull a firearm on our police officer, and he defended himself.”
D.C. police have gotten more than 1,400 illegal guns off streets so far this year and are committed to recovering more, Contee said.
“Today we got an illegal firearm off the street, our officer is OK and, thankfully, the person who challenged our officer today, it looks like he’s gonna be OK,” he said.
Less than 12 hours later, D.C. police shot and killed a man who was found asleep in a car with a gun in Northeast, Contee said.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.