A Little Rock police officer was seriously injured Tuesday after a suspect struck him with her vehicle, authorities said.
An officer responded to a suspicious person call at approximately 4:51 p.m. at the Promenade at Chenal mall, spokesman Lt. Michael Ford said. Upon arrival, he found that multiple women were attempting to shoplift from the Justice clothing store, but when he approached them, Ford said the women ran to their vehicle and attempted to flee.
The car struck one of the patrol officers, said Ford, who said he didn't know if the vehicle was moving forward or backward when it hit the officer.
The suspects fled the scene, Ford said. Police did not release a description of the vehicle Tuesday evening.
Ford said an ambulance took the officer to a local hospital, but declined to identify which hospital or the identity of the officer until family had been notified.
Ford said police do not how many suspects were involved, though investigators know it was more than one female.
A black purse with gold trimmings was left in the middle of the street between brightly lit clothing stores in the mall. Nearby sat a piece of debris Ford said officers suspect broke off of the suspect’s vehicle.
Investigators believe the purse belonged to one of the suspects, though Ford said that has not been confirmed.
More than a dozen patrol officers and investigators set up a perimeter around the block where the purse and debris sat, which was just a dozen yards away from the Justice store and directly in front of a Victoria’s Secret.
Ford said homicide investigators respond to all officer-involved incidents and would investigate the incident.
Investigators were checking to see if security video was available to determine whether the driver intentionally struck the officer, Ford said.
The Promenade mall is in northwest Little Rock just off of Chenal Parkway.