LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock police held a news conference on Tuesday afternoon to explain the officer-involved shooting of 30-year-old Adam Rojas.
LPD Chief Greg Stevens said Rojas tried to run over two different officers with his vehicle before displaying a lighter that was crafted to look like a firearm.
During the incident, LPD officers fired a total of 18 shots, all of which hit the vehicle. Six shots also hit Rojas, who remains in serious condition as of Tuesday afternoon.
Rojas faces charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, evading arrest, failure to identify, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Police say the pickup he was driving, a pewter-colored 2003 Chevrolet, had gone missing from a Lubbock car dealership but had not been reported stolen as of Monday morning.
Two officers, a rookie officer with a training officer, responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle at the Family Community Center Mobile Home Park at 2606 North MLK Blvd., around 1:30 a.m. Monday.
When officers confronted the driver, police say he gave conflicting information about his identity and behaved in a manner that raised suspicion.
When the officers asked Rojas to exit the vehicle, police say he put the pickup truck in reverse and drove towards an officer. Police say the rookie officer on scene had to literally jump out of the way.
Then Rojas put the pickup and drive and drove toward the training officer. Police say the training officer fired several shots at the driver to make him stop driving towards him and "stop that assault."
LPD Chief Stevens said Rojas was using the vehicle as a deadly weapon, attempting to harm both officers.
The training officer fired six rounds into the vehicle, in and around the driver's compartment, but the vehicle was able to leave the area and flee.
Other officers began a chase that lasted about five minutes.
A supervisor authorized a low-speed collision to stop the vehicle, a maneuver known as a forcible stop. Officers made the forcible stop in the west alley going south at 2600 Date Avenue.
The officers then instructed Rojas to raise his hands. Both officers observed what they believed to be a firearm. Both officers opened fire. One officer fired 10 rounds, another fired two rounds at Rojas.
At this point in the investigation, LPD does not know which rounds actually struck Rojas, but all rounds have been accounted for.
The replica firearm that Rojas was holding has been identified as a lighter in the shape of a small-caliber .22 revolver pistol.
Stevens said Rojas did not have a real firearm, but he displayed what appeared to be a real firearm.
"If you display that after police officers have ordered you to show your hands, after you have attempted to run over two other officers, the officers are very likely to open fire on you, they're going to shoot at you," Stevens said.
Contrary to initial reports, Stevens said Rojas did not get out of the vehicle during the incident and was seated inside the vehicle when shots were fired.
All three officers that fired their weapons are now on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a shooting.