Connecticut State Police are investigating after a police officer opened fire on a suspect believed to be driving a stolen car and leading police on a chase on Sunday evening.
According to police, Bridgeport officers attempted to stop the stolen vehicle in the city around 6:30 p.m. The car, a 2016 Nissan Sentra, was reported stolen to police earlier in the day.
The driver, identified as 26-year-old Josephine Cepeda, refused to stop and fled from police. The chase went into Stratford, where it ended on Seymour Street, where police said Cepeda struck two Bridgeport police cruisers.
State Police said a Bridgeport officer fired at least one shot from a department issued handgun, hitting Cepeda.
Cepeda, who was out on a drug charge, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Bridgeport Hospital where she was in stable condition. No police officers were injured.
"The lady tried to actually run one of them over, they rammed the cruiser and then all of a sudden there was mass chaos," Chris Kirk, who owns the building on Seymour Street, said.
Kirk said his surveillance cameras, which were installed a few months ago, caught some of the chase.
The officer's identity has not yet been released.
"In generally, there are very strict rules governing the use of force and deadly force for Bridgeport police officers, and it's really limited to when an officer feels their life is in danger, the life of another person is in danger or the person in question is posing a threat to themselves or others," Bridgeport Spokesman Av Harris said.
On Monday, Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez issued a statement that said he stands "firmly behind the actions of the Bridgeport police officers involved in this incident last night."
"As is our protocol, we refer any incident in which a person is struck by the discharge of a service weapon fired by a Bridgeport police officer for investigation by the local State Attorney and the Connecticut State Police," Perez said.
State police from the Western District Major Crime responded to the scene and took over the investigation along with the Bridgeport State Attorney John Smirga.
According to the Bridgeport Police Department, "an officer is justified to use deadly force only under the following circumstances":
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