HOUSTON -- An officer with the Houston Police Department opened fire on a fleeing suspect who struck him in the leg with his vehicle, police said late Wednesday.

According to HPD, it happened around 11:30 p.m. on Ruthven Street at Gillette Street just west of downtown.

HPD spokesman Victor Senties stated a Central Tactical Unit Officer was patrolling an area known for high narcotics activity. He saw a male in the middle of the road as a second man fled from a nearby street corner.

The officer exited his vehicle and saw a third man run out from a back alley. The man then ran to a parked vehicle. Police said after identifying himself as an officer, the suspect continued to get in the vehicle and locked the door. The officer, fearing for his life, opened fire as the man sped away.

Police said as the shots were fired, the suspect hit the officer's leg with his vehicle while speeding from the scene.

HPD said investigators weren't sure if any of the officer's bullets struck the suspect or his car. Police kept an eye out overnight for a red compact car with bullet holes. They also said they were questioning a man who turned up at a southwest Houston hospital with a bullet wound.

The officer who was struck by the car was not seriously injured and remained at the scene during the investigation. Later he was taken to the hospital to get checked out.

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