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Miami-Dade police officer shoots driver who struck cop with car after traffic stop, crash; suspects arrested

Miami-Dade officer hurt, shoots suspect
Miami-Dade officer hurt, shoots suspect 02:02

MIAMI -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating after a police officer shot a driver who struck the officer following an attempted traffic stop and crash Friday night in northwest Miami-Dade, authorities said.

Watch: Police provide update on Miami-Dade officer-involved shooting 03:57

On Saturday evening, Miami-Dade Police identified the two suspects involved: 38-year-old Virgil Bernard French, who was driving the vehicle; and, 40-year-old Charlie Frank Harris, who was a passenger.

According to MDPD, French was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and grand theft. Meanwhile, Harris was charged with resisting without violence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, along with an unrelated charge of aggravated child abuse.

Arrests made in Miami-Dade Police officer-involved shooting 00:49

The officer suffered minor injuries while the suspect was listed in critical-but-stable condition as of Friday night, according to a police spokesman. The officer was later discharged from the hospital and currently recovering at home as of Saturday evening.

"It's a scary situation," Detective Luis Sierra said during a news conference at the scene. "Thankfully, the officer is going to be OK. I don't know what the thought process was of the individual driving the vehicle."  

Police on the scene during an investigation Friday night. CBS News Miami

The chain of events began shortly before 6 p.m. in the area of NW 70th Street and NW 18th Avenue. 

Investigators said an officer from the department's Robbery Intervention Detail had attempted to stop a white Dodge Challenger.

The officer tried to pull the vehicle over but the driver sped away from the scene, according to investigators.

Police issued a be-on-the-lookout warning before officers found the vehicle shortly before the driver crashed into a utility pole on NW 63rd Street and NW 21st Avenue. 

The robbery officer arrived at the scene and attempted to approach the vehicle when the driver accelerated forward, striking the officer and pinning him against his vehicle.

The officer opened fire on the driver, who was struck and wounded, according to investigators.

There were several bullet holes in the windshield of the white Dodge, which was parked in the area as police investigated the incident.

The officer was sitting up on the stretcher as he arrived at the hospital and appeared to be talking to the paramedics and other officers  at the scene. CBS News Miami crews captured a patient believed to be the driver being wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher.   

Police said the second person was in the Dodge but they were apparently not hurt during the incident.

Officers from the FDLE were on the scene and investigating the incident, which is routine when a law enforcement officer is involved in a shooting.

Police erected yellow crime scene tape in the area and there was a large presence of law enforcement officers as they investigated the incident.

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