BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) – An investigation is underway after a Farmington carjacking suspect stole a Bristol police cruiser and crashed it into a diner on Thursday.
According to Farmington police, just after 12 p.m., officers responded to the area of Scott Swamp Road for the report of a vehicle complaint. Police said a Dodge Durango was reported to have crashed into a rock wall at the entrance of an apartment complex near Brookshire Lane.
WATCH: The surveillance video above shows the moment a stolen Bristol police cruiser crashed into a building. CREDIT: Max Pizza
Authorities found an abandoned Dodge Durango at the scene that had been reported as stolen.
Police said the suspect then attempted to steal two cars at knife-point from the apartment complex but was unsuccessful. Police said on his third attempt, he was able to steal a Toyota Rav4.
Farmington police said a 27-year-old man from Farmington sustained minor injuries during the incident and was brought to the hospital.
The suspect then drove the Rav4 to Bristol.
Police said that around 12:18 p.m., the Bristol Police Department was investigating a carjacking that occurred in Farmington. Police said that the suspect stole a police cruiser, shots were fired and a pursuit ensued.
“I heard the cops yell get on the ground and I looked out the window and saw the guy jump in the police cruiser and take off. I saw police shoot at him,” a witness told News 8.
Bristol police later identified the suspect as Jimmie Shoemaker-Gonzalez, 39.
According to sources, the cruiser was stolen in the area of Davis Drive in Bristol.
According to police, Shoemaker-Gonzalez crashed the stolen police cruiser into Palma’s Restaurant on Stafford Avenue.
Bristol police said there is no threat to the public, and that Shoemaker-Gonzalez was arrested at the scene of the crash and remains in police custody.
Shoemaker-Gonzalez has been charged with larceny in the first degree and is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.
No officers were injured during the incident, according to sources.
Staff at Palma’s Diner said the restaurant was in shambles after the crash. Glass covered the floor while chairs and tables were knocked over.
One man and his wife said they were having lunch when the police cruiser came through the front door.
“I heard the siren, I thought it was an ambulance coming by. But it made like a blow, it was like a bomb. It exploded and I said okay, and I looked back and I saw a cruiser. We thought it was an officer but it wasn’t,” said Norman Morneault of Bristol.
Staff inside Palma’s Diner originally approached the car thinking the person inside was a cop but backed away when they observed the man inside the cruiser, was not in fact a police officer.
“Our staff approached the car, thinking that it was a cop, they looked in the window and saw that this actually wasn’t a cop, and started yelling okay that’s not a cop we have to back away,” said Paul Palma, son of the owner.
Palma’s Diner posted on Facebook following the incident and released a statement.
“Hi Bristol, We hope everyone is having a better day than we are. Despite all the craziness, we are writing to let you know that everyone inside the diner at the time of the accident is safe despite being shaken up by all of this. At the moment we don’t know when all of this will be resolved or when we will reopen. Since everyone is safe this is of little concern to us. We will post an update as we know more. Thank you, The Palma Family and Staff.”
Bristol police said this case is now under investigation by the Connecticut State Police and the Inspector General’s Office.