Shots hit California police car, woman on ride-along hurt

(Image: Shutterstock)
(Image: Shutterstock)

MADERA, Calif. (AP) — A woman interested in becoming a police officer who was on a weekend ride-along in a California police cruiser was hurt by flying glass when shots were fired through the cruiser’s front windshield, police said Monday.

More than a dozen shots were fired at the cruiser from a car being pursued in the central California city of Madera.

Two shots smashed the windshield, narrowly missing the woman and the police officer driving the cruiser, said Madera police Detective Sgt. Johnnie Smith

The woman can be heard on audio from dash camera video pleading for the officer not to continue pursuing the Mazda sports utility vehicle after someone in the vehicle opened fire at the cruiser.

The Fresno Bee reports the incident happened when the officer tried to stop the Mazda sports and the vehicle took off.

The woman was participating in a course for citizens to get an inside look into police work, Smith said. He declined to identify her or the officer.

The woman was shaken and received cuts but was not seriously injured, Smith said.

The events unfolded at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, when the officer decided to stop the SUV because one of its lights was not working, Smith said.

The driver appeared ready to stop, but then took off and went through stop signs without stopping.

Just before shots rang out, the woman can be heard on the audio saying: “He has a gun, oh no!”

Two bullets hit the windshield and one hit one of the cruiser’s tires, disabling the cruiser and forcing the officer to stop his pursuit.

Police found the SUV few blocks from where the officer last saw it and recovered an AR15-style pistol.

Police are searching for at least two suspects but no arrests have been made, Smith said.

The department said the officer had just finished training and was on his second week working solo in a police cruiser.

Civilians are allowed to ride-alongs with police if the department gives approval.

The ride-alongs are part of the course offered by the department for people to learn how police do their jobs.

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