MESA, AZ — An Apache Junction police officer is recovering after being shot following a pursuit in the east Valley Tuesday afternoon.
The shooting happened just before 4 p.m. near Crismon Road and Main Street.
Authorities say Officer Brian Brugman was pursuing a stolen vehicle and when he got close, the driver attempted to ram the patrol vehicle.
There was an exchange of gunfire and Officer Brugman was hit. A suspect involved was also shot.
Officials say at least one suspect was taken into custody and the injured suspect was taken to a hospital.
On Wednesday, Apache Junction Police Chief Thomas Kelly said Ofc. Brugman, 29, was shot in the neck area and is in critical but stable condition at the hospital after having surgery Tuesday night.
"Somebody was looking out for our officer last night," Chief Kelly said. "From what the doctors said, if he hadn't gotten to the hospital in the way he had gotten to the hospital it could have been a lot worse."
Chief Kelly said three of his officers opened fire during the incident, and a combination of those involved were equipped with body cameras.
Chief Kelly said Officer Brugman has been on the force for more than four years.
"He comes to work with a smile on his face and goes home with a smile on his face," Chief Kelly said. "It's kind of hard to find when he's not happy to be at work, which is great in this profession, especially [with] what's going on in the world today."
The chief told ABC15 Ofc. Brugman's father is the former Chief of Police in Safford, Arizona.
The names of the suspects have not been released. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is overseeing the shooting investigation.