A White St. Louis police officer fired at and injured a Black member of the same police department after mistaking him for a fleeing criminal.

At about 10 p.m. Wednesday evening, St. Louis police received a report that a stolen vehicle had been spotted. Officers laid down spike strips and turned on their lights, but the occupants of the vehicle allegedly opened fire on police. Officers followed the car until it crashed. According to the police statement, the armed suspects then fled on foot.”

Police officers were chasing these car thieves when they encountered the off-duty officer. The off-duty officer, who lived near the crime scene, ventured outside with his service gun after hearing a lot of commotion.

The other officers mistook the off-duty officer for being one of the car thieves who fled on foot.

They ordered the off-duty cop and told him to lie on the ground. He complied. Following this instruction, they demanded that he walk toward them. As he was doing this, a third officer, arrived at the scene and immediately shot the off-duty officer in the arm. The officer who shot the off-duty African-American police officer was White.

The St. Louis Police Department’s explanation: “Fearing for his safety and apparently not recognizing the off-duty officer, discharged a shot, striking the off-duty officer in the arm.”

The injured officer was taken to the hospital. He has served in the St. Louis Police Dept. for eleven years.

Two of the three car thieves were eventually taken into custody. A third suspect is still on the loose.