The Birmingham Police Department responded to the scene of a shooting where an officer was injured on Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Johnny Williams with the Birmingham Police Department says officers received a call on Wednesday morning from three employees of a trucking company. The employees told officers that they were chasing suspects who had tried to break into the company around 7 a.m.
When officers caught up with the employees at 18th Street North and 31st Avenue North, they found that two of the three were armed with handguns. Officers took the weapons away from the men while they were detained and Williams says one of the guns "fell apart" in the officer's hand.
"One BPD officer attempted to unload one of the weapons in an effort to make it safe," Williams explained.
"During this time, the weapon cylinder fell from the weapon striking the ground. As the cylinder hit the ground, a bullet discharged striking the officer in the leg," Williams said.
The officer was taken to UAB Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. Sgt. Williams said in a 1 p.m. update that the officer is alert, talking and doing well. They are waiting to hear from doctors about when he will be released.
The two employees were detained for questioning and only one of them had a valid permit for his weapon. The man without a permit, 48-year-old Michael Edward New of Crane Hill, was arrested and charged with a violation of state firearms act.
Police were unable to locate the reported burglary suspects the employees said they had been chasing. Police say an internal investigation as well as a criminal investigation into the case is ongoing.
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