Officer fires shots during pursuit of suspected car thief

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Police have arrested a suspected car thief after a high speed police chase through Kansas City, Missouri for nearly a half hour on Wednesday.

Police followed a stolen car to a BP Gas Station near 45th and Cleaver Boulevard where the suspect had stopped to pump gas and soon came face-to-face with a police officer who got out of his car and drew his weapon. But it wasn't enough to stop the male suspect from jumping back behind the wheel.

The suspect hit the gas pedal, rammed the front of the patrol car and kept driving toward the officer.

Scene near where police chase ended
Scene near where police chase ended

Police say that's the moment the officer feared for his life, and fired his gun several times in the direction of the suspect as he fled the scene. No one inside the stolen car was hit and the driver kept going, leading more than a dozen cop cars in a pursuit for nearly 30 minutes.

Eventually the vehicle hit stop sticks and spun out near Bennington and St. John in east Kansas City.

Police arrested the man, and had at least one other woman in handcuffs at the scene, who for a while was sitting on the back of the police van being questioned by police.

Ambulances were also on scene, but shortly before 6 p.m. they left as well as the handcuffed woman, who was placed inside the van and taken by police.

A police spokeswoman says the officer who fired his weapon had to make a split second decision.

“This officer today made the best decision based on their perception of this instant. It’s a scary situation and it's a tough situation that this officer was placed in today,” said Kari Thompson with the Kansas City Police Department.

That officer will now be put on administrative leave with pay until he is cleared to get back on the streets.

Police say they're still investigating and so far, no charges have been filed.

Earlier coverage:

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