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Navy police shoot one sailor in gut after chase at San Diego base

From Christine Sever, CNN
  • A Navy sailor had surgery and is stable at a hospital after being shot in the abdomen
  • After being stopped, the sailor drove onto the base and hit two cruisers, a spokesman says
  • A passenger in the car, who was not injured, is in Navy police custody
  • The spokesman says the car was stopped on strong suspicions of drunken driving

(CNN) -- Navy police shot one sailor in the gut and took another into custody early Saturday after their vehicle smashed into two police cruisers following a chase at San Diego's naval base, a military spokesman said.

The wounded sailor is in stable condition at the University of California San Diego Medical Center after undergoing surgery, said Brian O'Rourke, the Navy's public affairs officer for the southwest region. The other sailor was uninjured.

No charges have been filed against either the driver, who was shot, or his passenger. O'Rourke said that they had been stopped around 1:30 a.m. at a gate outside the San Diego Naval Base on strong suspicions of drunken driving.

A gate guard then called for assistance from Navy police units. But before a Breathalyzer could be given, the driver sped inside the base and was soon pursued by military police. The sailors tried to go through another gate, which had been shut down according to protocol, but instead slammed into the security vehicles, O'Rourke said.

The passenger then got out of the car, but the driver continued. Naval police officers then opened fire, eventually hitting that sailor in the abdomen.

In a statement, the Navy said its police decided to use "deadly force" after determining "the driver represented a threat to the lives of officers."

The passenger is being held on base, the biggest on the West Coast and home to 59 ported ships and thousands of sailors.

O'Rourke said police and others at the base just finished a week of security training, preparing them for an incident like this.

Formal charges -- which have not yet been specified -- are likely to be filed Monday against the car's driver and possibly its passenger, the spokesman said.