1. News

St. Petersburg officer suffers gunshot injury during traffic stop

ST. PETERSBURG — An undercover officer was accidentally shot in the hand by his firearm Friday during an encounter with a reckless driver and a rolling vehicle, St. Petersburg police said.

The officer, who was not named, was being treated for a serious but non-life-threatening injury at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, police said.

The incident started about 11 p.m. when officers tried to stop the driver of a 2015 Toyota Corolla "driving recklessly" on 28th Street near 11th Avenue S. The driver, a 16-year-old boy, sped away, and officers did not chase the car.

Soon after, undercover officers of the Violent Crimes Task Force threw stopsticks onto the road, flattening the Corolla's tires on Freemont Terrace S near 29th Street.

As the car rolled, the teen jumped out and ran, and the undercover officer jumped inside to try to stop the Corolla from hitting the back of an empty Pinellas County sheriff's vehicle.

The officer's gun fired on impact, and the bullet struck the officer's hand.

The teenager was arrested on charges of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest without violence and operating a vehicle without a valid driver's license.