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Officer Shoots Self in Leg By Accident

By Staff | Jan 20, 2016

SISTERSVILLE – A Sistersville police officer accidentally shot himself in the leg Monday evening after a high speed pursuit.

Sistersville Police Chief Rob Haught said Sgt. Alex Northcraft sustained a minor gunshot wound to his leg when the chase ended. He said while taking the suspect into custody, Northcraft’s firearm reportedly discharged. Haught said criminal charges are pending against suspect Joseph W. Rodgers of Gaffney, S.C.

Sistersville police issued a press release this morning detailing what happened. Haught said shortly after 6:30 p.m. Monday, Patrolman Mason Rine was investigating a report about a 2013 Ford Explorer that was allegedly stolen from the Par Mar parking lot.

Northcraft responded to the scene and, while reviewing the security video, the Ford Explorer drove past Rine, who tried to initiate a traffic stop.

Haught said police and the Tyler County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the vehicle as it sped through the city’s back streets.

Law enforcement officers followed the vehicle as it traveled at a high speed north on W.Va. 2 toward Paden City, Haught said.

Police pursued the vehicle until the chase ended on the south end of Paden City.

Haught said there was a minor collision with a SPD cruiser, but there were no injuries. Rodgers allegedly struggled with officers, he said. During the struggle, Northcraft was attempting to reholster his sidearm and it discharged into his upper leg, Haught said.

Rodgers was taken into custody and Northcraft was attended to by New Martinsville police Officer Michael Owens, who is an emergency medical technician, Haught said.

Northcraft and Rogers were taken to Sisterville General Hospital. Northcraft was released Monday and Rodgers was taken to North Central Regional Jail.

Haught said after meeting with the Tyler County Prosecutor, Rodgers was arraigned on charges Tuesday.

Haught thanked area law enforcement that assisted including New Martinsville Police, State Police, Paden City Police, Tyler and Wetzel counties sheriff’s departments as well as the staff at SGH for the excellent care given to Northcraft.