A Hartford police officer is recovering after being shot at while in her vehicle early Tuesday morning, police said.
The officer was on patrol around 1:30 a.m. in a parking lot at 1921 Main Street when a man, later identified as Jose Cajigas, walked up her police cruiser, police said.
The officer believed Cajigas needed assistance and while she was trying to engage with him, he pulled out a gun and fired through the driver's side window, according to police.
Police said the gunfire barely missed the officer, who suffered abrasions on her face when her window shattered.
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Cajigas ran away and the officer called for backup, police said. After a short foot chase, the suspect was taken into custody. Police said they recovered the weapon used in the shooting.
"This was an unprovoked attack on one of our officers that was trying to provide assistance to her attacker," said Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody. "It puts a spotlight on the dangers Police officers face, even in some of the most routine situations. I am thankful that she showed bravery and quick-thinking to escape her attacker while keeping him in sight until her fellow officers could assist."
Officials have not named the officer.
Mayor Luke Bronin said at a press conference Tuesday that the targeted officer displayed "incredible professionalism, incredible commitment, incredible courage" when she radioed for help and kept an eye on the suspect while waiting for her backup to arrive.
"This is a reminder that our officers put themselves in danger every day. That when the men and women of the Hartford Police Department put on their uniform they are putting themselves in a position where their lives may be a risk. We need to all remember that and be grateful for their service and their willingness to do that work," Bronin said.
The officer had minor injuries from being cut by glass during the shooting. She was taken to an area hospital for treatment and is now at home resting.
"She seems in good spirits but this is going to take some processing, I think, and we want to make sure not just physically but mentally that she does well. We've provided all the resources at our disposal to her and wish her the best," Thody said.
Cajigas, 31, was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm, police said.
He is being held on a $2 million bond, according to police.
Bronin said that Cajigas is also a suspect in the killing of a woman found in a home on Spring Street on Monday.
Police said Cajigas has a long criminal history and was arrested 11 days ago for a probation violation and in possession of another firearm. He posted bail in that incident.
Bronin and police expressed frustration at this, saying they want to see change on a state level to prevent repeat offenders from getting out on the streets and leading to these types of scenarios.
There will be extra patrols out in Hartford and some officers have been partnered up as a precaution after the shooting. Police said they do believe this is an isolated incident.