A man snatched a Catalan police officer’s service weapon and shot a fellow agent at close range on Wednesday afternoon in the Catalan town of Santa Coloma de Gramenet (Barcelona).
The victim was protected by her bulletproof vest and emerged nearly unscathed from the incident.
A patrol car had been dispatched to Avenida de la Generalitat shortly after 6.30pm after a man was reported to be standing in the street and hurling objects at passersby.
Sign up for our newsletter!
EL PAÍS English Edition is launching a weekly newsletter. Sign up today to receive a selection of our best stories in your inbox every Saturday morning. For full details about how to subscribe, click here.
When the officers asked the individual for identification – he was reported as a 33-year-old citizen of Georgia – he assaulted the police, said sources familiar with the case.
Several officers restrained the suspect, who still managed to pull a weapon from its holster and shoot twice at another officer who was standing nearby.
She and two other officers sustained light injuries as a result of the incident. The suspect has been charged with attempted homicide and assaulting the authorities.
This is the second time in a month that an arrested individual has managed to disarm a member of the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police force.
On March 14, a 50-year-old man who was being subdued by several policemen grabbed a weapon, pointed it at one of the officers and shot twice. The officer was unharmed as the gun was not loaded.
English version by Susana Urra.
Sniper arrested in Madrid
Police in Madrid have arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion of having fired a gun fitted with a telescopic sight at passersby and a police patrol car from an apartment in the Usera district on Monday evening. No injuries were reported.
Sources say the suspected sniper was a nationalized Spaniard of Moroccan origin and that neighbors alerted the authorities when they heard shots.