ORLANDO, Fla. - A 24-year-old Orlando police officer continues to recover after being shot early Tuesday morning during a traffic stop.
Officer Jason Hajek was shot in the stomach around 2:30 a.m. on Bruton Boulevard near Columbia Street.
Demetrius Patterson, a 23-year-old man who's faced 42 previous arrest charges, was arrested in the shooting after being coaxed out of a nearby home. He faces charges of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
"For hours, we tried to talk him out. We had a little 7-year-old girl in there, which made things difficult as far as tactics go to get him out of the house. He finally surrendered," said Police Chief Paul Rooney.
Patterson, who turned 23 on Monday, has been arrested 17 times since the age of 9 on 26 felony and 16 misdemeanor charges, Orlando police said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment after Hajek returned fire and struck him in the foot, police said.
Patterson was booked into the Orange County Jail Tuesday afternoon.
A second man wanted for questioning in the shooting was found a short time later hiding in a nearby wooded area, but he is not being charged at this time, police said Tuesday afternoon.
Hajek, who's been with the Orlando Police Department for about 18 months, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center and underwent surgery. Hajek's father said his son, who was shot below his bulletproof vest, was doing well, although a bullet pierced his bladder.
Hajek was in good spirits and talkative after the surgery to repair his bladder, his father said.
"We're hoping he is going to be fine," Rooney said shortly after the shooting.
Orlando police said Hajek stopped a car for reckless driving and two people got out of the vehicle. Hajek was shot and the culprits ran away, said police, who added that Hajek returned fire and was able to call for help. He also gave dispatchers a description of the suspects.
"He did an outstanding job on the radio giving his location, giving suspect information (and) outlining everything, and that's how we were able to get (to the scene) so quick," Rooney said.
The culprits' car was found near the intersection of Bruton Boulevard and Roseboro Street, and police later surrounded a house in the 2900 block of Roseboro Street. Patterson came out hours later and was arrested. The girl inside the home was not injured. It's not known if Patterson knows the girl.
OPD said the bigger question is why almost all the suspects in recent police shootings have been arrested before but are still on the streets.
"We're out here arresting these guys over and over again and they keep committing crimes. And now this guy is out there trying to kill one of our own," said OPD Sgt. Jim Young.
Several roads were closed in the area, and the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Community Center, churches and surrounding businesses were also closed.
Police also conducted door-to-door searches in the Washington Shores neighborhood.
Dozens of law enforcement agencies were involved in the search, including the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, the Orange County Sheriff's Office and police from Winter Park, Maitland and Ocoee.
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