A manhunt is underway for the individual responsible for shooting an Albuquerque, New Mexico, police officer during a traffic stop on Saturday.
“(The officer) pulled this individual over for suspicion of drunk driving," Albuquerque police officer Simon Drobik said.
The suspect allegedly got out of his silver SUV and fired at the officer, reports KOAT.
“The driver fired at the officer several times, striking the officer at least twice,” Police Chief Gordon Eden said. “The officer went to the ground and was able to fire at the vehicle.”
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Two bullets hit the officer; one in his torso and the other in his bulletproof vest.
It is unknown whether the driver was hit by the return gunfire because he managed to get away from the scene without being apprehended.
According to witnesses, there were about six gunshots fired.
Finding the suspected gunman has become a top priority, reports Albuquerque Journal.
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The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico State Police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service have joined the Albuquerque Police Department in the manhunt.
“We’re obviously on high alert. We’ve got a lot of players on this,” Drobik said. “This, right now, is the priority. We’re dedicating all our resources to finding this individual.”
The task force is looking for a clean-shaven, white or light-skinned Hispanic man, about 6 feet tall, who was wearing a dark jacket, dark jeans, with a brown baseball cap.
The incident was caught on the officer’s lapel camera and authorities are reviewing the footage. They will also review available security camera footage from local businesses.
The 30-year veteran officer is currently recovering at University of New Mexico Hospital. His name has not been released.
“He’s a very dedicated, well-rounded person who has devoted 30 years of his life to serving his community,” Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association President Stephanie Lopez said. “He stayed calm and cool, to be shot and stay in the fight to go home to his family.”
ATF is offering a $7,000 reward for information that lead’s to the suspect’s arrest and conviction.
Police have called on the man to turn himself in, and urged his family and friends to give information on his whereabouts.
“To the individual responsible for shooting our officer, we would compel you to come forward (and) call 242-COPS and we will be able to take you into custody at that time,” Drobik said.
To those who know the suspect, “[w]e will safely take him into custody," Drobik said. "I can’t stress enough that we are urging the offender to come forward.”