Police shot and wounded a reckless driver who hit an officer with his vehicle Sunday afternoon outside the Ventura County Fairgrounds as he fled from a traffic stop, authorities said.
The incident began about 3:45 p.m. when the driver of a red pick-up truck attempted to pass several road closure barricades near the Garden Street entrance to the fairgrounds, according to a statement from the Ventura Police Department.
Several traffic officers working outside of the fairgrounds property saw the vehicle and stopped the driver near the intersection of Figueroa Street and Harbor Boulevard, police said. One of the officers was speaking to the driver, when the suspect suddenly accelerated backwards, colliding with another vehicle behind him.
The suspect then quickly accelerated forward towards another officer, and hit that officer with his vehicle as he fled, police said.
Other officers at the scene fired at the suspect vehicle as it smashed into several parked police motorcycles and a shuttle bus, police said. The shuttle bus was not occupied by fair-goers at the time of the shooting.
The suspect driver was struck by the officer’s gunfire and came to a stop, police said. He was later transported to Ventura County Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, where he was listed in critical condition.
He was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer, officials said.
The officer that was struck by the suspect was transported to the medical center for non-life threatening injuries and later released.