Jan. 24 (UPI) — At least one person was injured in Washington after a Tacoma police officer drove his vehicle into a crowd on Saturday night.
In a statement, the Tacoma Police Department said several officers responded to an incident involving approximately 100 people and multiple vehicles blocking an intersection.
“During the operation, a responding Tacoma police vehicle was surrounded by the crowd. People hit the body of the police vehicle and its windows as the officer was stopped in the street,” the department said. “The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to back up, but was unable to do so because of the crowd.”
According to the statement, the officer had his lights and sirens activated and drove forward in an attempt to “extricate himself from an unsafe position.”
The officer struck several people with the vehicle and one person was transported to a local hospital. The condition of the person was not immediately known.
Tacoma police spokeswoman Wendy Haddow said the officer was afraid the crowd would break his glass and stopped a short distance away from the scene where he immediately called for medical aid.
City Manager Elizabeth Pauli said the officer will be placed on paid leave as the Pierce County Force Investigation Team will conduct an independent investigation of the incident.
“I am concerned that our department is experiencing another use of deadly force incident,” Interim Police Chief Mike Ake said. “I send my thoughts to anyone who was injured in tonight’s event and am committed to our Department’s full cooperation in the independent investigation and to assess the actions of the department’s response during the incident.”