St. Petersburg police have recovered the stolen car that a suspect drove into a police officer and onto a patrol vehicle Wednesday night during his escape, leading another officer to open fire.
Police, however, are still searching for the suspect, who has yet to be identified but is described as a black man in his 20s, 6-foot-1, and was last seen wearing a black hoodie and black jeans.
Police say a resident, who recognized the stolen 2006 Mazda 6 from news reports, called police this morning before 9 a.m. to report seeing the car abandoned near 8414 5th St. N.
Detectives say there were no traces of blood or other evidence to indicate the driver was injured, and the car’s tag had been removed.
The car, which had bullet damage, is undergoing further forensic testing.
The incident occurred Wednesday night around 8:30 p.m. Police went to the Quick Stop convenience store, 1440 49th St. S., after an officer with the Street Crimes Unit spotted a reported stolen vehicle in the parking lot. At least three unmarked units pulled into the lot to stop the car and apprehend the driver.
As they approached, however, the driver ran to the car, got inside and backed up with sufficient force to drive up and over the top of one of the unmarked cruisers.
He then drove toward DeMark, who was out of his vehicle. The vehicle struck DeMark in the foot or leg.
As the car approached DeMark, Officer Neil Rambaran fired several shots at the suspect’s vehicle. Police don’t know if the suspect was hit.
The suspect then drove off, striking two unmarked police cars in the parking lot. The suspect exited the parking lot onto 15th Avenue South and then headed east, police said.
DeMark was treated at a local hospital and released, and has returned to full-time duty, police say. Rambaran has been placed on administrative leave pending further review.
DeMark and Rambaran have both been officers for six years.