State Police: Woman accused of stealing car shot by Bridgeport officer

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BRIDGEPORT — Connecticut State Police are investigating after a Bridgeport police officer shot and injured a woman driving a car that had been reported stolen.

State police say Bridgeport officers attempted to stop the 2016 Nissan Sentra at about 6:40 p.m. Sunday, but the driver refused to stop and fled into neighboring Stratford while police pursued.

After the driver intentionally struck two police cruisers, a pursuing officer fired at least one shot from a department issued handgun, striking the driver.

The woman, identified Monday as 26-year-old Josephine Cepeda, of Bridgeport, was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. The officer’s name was not made public. No police personnel were hurt.

It could not be determined if Cepeda has a lawyer.

Bridgeport Police Chief Armando “AJ” Perez issued a statement Monday regarding the shooting.

“The Bridgeport Police Department has very strict guidelines on the use of force and the use of deadly force.  An officer is justified to use deadly force only under the following circumstances:

  • To defend the officer or another person from what the officer reasonably believes to be the use of imminent use of deadly physical force.
  • To effect an arrest or prevent the escape from custody of a person whom the officer reasonably believes  a) has committed or attempted to commit a felony that involved the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury; AND
    • The officer reasonably believes that the person still poses an immediate threat to the officer of third party through the use of deadly physical force to the officer or a third party.

Using those guidelines, I stand firmly behind the actions of the Bridgeport police officers involved in this incident last night.  As is our protocol, we refer any incident in which a person is struck by the discharge of a service weapon fired by a Bridgeport for investigation by the local State Attorney and the Connecticut State Police.  This matter is now under investigation by the office of Bridgeport State Attorney John Smirga and the Connecticut State Police.  As such, we can have no further comment on any details related to this matter, pending the outcome of the state investigation.”