JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi police officer investigating a report of an armed robbery was shot and wounded Wednesday by a suspect who later escaped by running through a creek, authorities said.
Abe Gines, an eight-year veteran, responded to an armed robbery call at an apartment complex in north Jackson at about 6:14 a.m. Wednesday, Jackson police spokeswoman Colendula Green said.
Gines entered an open apartment door when a suspect emerged from behind him and fired, Green said. She said Gines returned fire and chased the suspect through the apartment. The suspect crashed through the rear window, where Gines was able to follow him to a nearby creek before the suspect got away.
The bullet grazed one side of Gines's abdomen and he was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, Green said. He has since been released in good condition.
"He seems to be in good spirits now," Green said. "He's thankful he's alive to tell his story."
Officers from the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Madison and Hinds Counties helped Jackson police in their morning search for the suspect in neighborhoods near the apartment complex.
Jackson police called off the search around noon but continued to "observe the area," Green said.
"We don't have as many people out there doing a search," she said. "We've just got officers in the area."
She said the suspect was wearing all black but officers don't know if he is armed.
"We're not sure if he had one gun or two guns," she said.
Residents in the area should be alert, she said.
"Anytime an incident like this happens people should be aware of their surroundings," she said.
Green said police don't have a possible motive for the shooting. She said she doesn't know if Gines and the suspect knew each other before the incident.
It's the first time this year a Jackson police officer has been shot, Green said, but it marks the latest recent case of officers being shot while on duty in Southern states, some fatally.
A Georgia police officer was shot and killed Feb. 11 while supervising a drug investigation in Atlanta. Greg Barney, a 25-year veteran, was shot multiple times while chasing a suspect.
A police officer in Virginia was shot and killed Feb. 27 while responding to a domestic dispute. The suspect, Army staff sergeant Ronald Hamilton, was later charged with capital murder for killing his wife and twenty-eight-year-old officer Ashley Guindon. Hamilton fired on Guindon and two other officers when they met him at the door. It was Guindon's first day on the job.
A North Texas police officer was shot and killed while responding to a burglary March 2. Authorities said 22-year-old Jorge Brian Gonzalez stole rifles and handguns from a house, then ambushed responding officers and fatally wounded 29-year-old David Hofer before being arrested.
This story has been corrected to fix a misspelling of Officer Green's name.