HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — An unmarked Hampton police vehicle was struck by gunfire late Thursday evening.
Officials say that around 11:30 p.m., officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle in the area of Shell Road and New York Avenue.
Capt. Tony Scheck of the Hampton Police Department told 10 On Your Side officers frequently patrol the area due to high crime. This is the second time in three months an officer has been shot at while on duty. The first time was in May on Macon Road.
“We’re making contact with people out there on a daily basis, getting out of the cars, trying to talk to people to build those relationships so that they know that we’re here to help them and to improve their quality of life so that we can reduce that violent crime,” Scheck explained.
During routine patrols Thursday night, a second vehicle approached and stopped nearby. The officer exited his vehicle, identified himself, and gave commands.
An occupant of the second vehicle fired multiple shots in the direction of the officer, and the vehicle fled the scene.
“Anytime something like that happens, it always makes officers a little bit more aware. It makes them more aware of their surroundings. It brings back the reality of the profession that we have chosen,” Scheck stated.
The officer’s unmarked police vehicle was struck by gunfire, but no injuries were reported. The officer will take some time off to recover mentally and will be evaluated before his return — a standard procedure when anyone on the force is shot at or has shot someone.
Scheck says while instances like Thursday’s aren’t common, they are a very real threat when out on the job. Officers take an oath to protect and serve and put their own lives on the line.
“We’re here to save lives and at the end of the day that’s what our job is, to save lives,” Scheck said.
The suspect vehicle has been identified as a 2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat. It is described as being gray with black racing stripes.
The vehicle is not a common model, police said.
Police have released stock images of a vehicle similar to the suspect SUV, which can be found here.
Stay tuned to WAVY.com for updates.