COLLEGE PARK, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Authorities say an officer fired a shot in the parking lot of a Home Depot after a vehicle being driven by suspects trying to flee an attempted robbery at the store came in contact with her.
Police say the driver of the vehicle is in custody and two others are being sought following the incident on Cherry Hill Road in College Park Thursday morning.
According to Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski, a uniformed, on-duty, female officer was inside of the Home Depot around 9:30 a.m. when she was approached by a store manager who alerted her to a possible robbery attempt.
Stawinski said the officer was in the store as part of a robbery suppression operation that was being conducted by the department in that neighborhood.
As the officer spoke with the manager, a person Stawinski described as being known to police and to Home Depot management as a shoplifter, saw them and fled the store on foot.
Just then, Stawinski said a second person, pushing a cart full of power tools and a crowbar, spotted the officer and manager speaking and attempted to flee the store. Stawinski said the officer gave chase, following the person while they continued to push the tool-filled cart out of the store and into the parking lot.
Stawinski said the person ran to a parked gold SUV where the first person who fled and a driver were waiting.
Surveillance video shows the officer confronting the three people who were in the vehicle, Stawinski said. He said while there is no audio on the video, it is clear that the officer can be seen issuing orders and drawing her weapon. Stawinski said at this point in the video the vehicle can be seen "coming into motion" and he believes contact was made between the vehicle and the officer.
"Although it is not hard contact, we believe it is contact," Stawinski stated.
"At this point, a single shot is fired," Stawinski said. "That shot does not strike the vehicle and does not strike any persons in that vehicle to the best of my knowledge right now."
It is unclear if the shot came in contact with anything else in the area. Stawinski said the vehicle can be seen on surveillance video and on a witness' cellphone video fleeing the parking lot.
Stawinski said a patrol officer on University Boulevard outside of the parking lot spotted the vehicle, which had its license plates obscured, and pulled it over. He said the driver was taken into custody and the vehicle is in their possession. The two other suspects fled the vehicle and remain on the loose.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police. The incident is still under investigation.