CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The St. Albans police officer who was hit by a car during a fatal shooting last week is out of the hospital and could be cleared to return to work later this week.
The injured officer -- Brandon Tagayun -- was one of several officers with the Metro Drug Unit involved in a drug bust Friday on Charleston's West Side.
Steiney Richards, 38, of Detroit, died after being shot while trying to flee from police in a tan-colored sedan.
Richards allegedly tried to run over several officers on Grant Street during the chase, prompting police to open fire. Richards hit Tagayun with his car, said Capt. James Agee of the St. Albans Police Department.
Tagayun was sent to the hospital after the accident. "A 3,000-pound car on even a glancing blow is going to smart a little," Agee said.
St. Albans Mayor Dick Callaway said he talked to Tagayun after the incident Friday. "He seemed to be doing pretty good," the mayor said. "He was shaken, understandably."
Tagayun was treated and released from a local hospital. "The X-rays show nothing broken," Agee said. "He says his knee has a clicking sound that wasn't there before."
According to Lt. S.A. Cooper, chief detective for the Charleston Police Department, nine Metro Drug Unit officers were at the scene. Two officers discharged their weapons and four shots in total were fired. At least one of those shots was fatal for Richards, who police say died from gunshot wounds and not from injuries sustained when the car he was driving crashed shortly after he began fleeing from police.
No weapon was found on Richards. "We never thought any shots were fired by the suspect, just that he was attempting to run over the officers," Cooper said.
The detective would not comment on what else, if anything, was found in the vehicle.
He did say, however, that after the incident, police served a search warrant and found an additional seven ounces of crack cocaine with a street value of around $100,000 at Richards' stash house.
Police said a confidential informant allegedly bought a large amount of crack from Richards at about 5 p.m. Friday. Plainclothes officers wearing police vests then tried to arrest Richards, who instead got into the car and tried to get away.
Richards had been under investigation by the Metro Drug Unit for some time. He has an extensive criminal history that goes back nearly two decades, serving 13 years in prison for firearm and drug trafficking offenses.
Cooper could not say how much the confidential informant purchased from Richards, but said it was a large amount.