Rochester police say one of their own was attacked by two men late Friday night near Joseph Avenue. The officer was off-duty when police say he had no choice but to fire his gun.
It all started when off-duty RPD officer, Francisco Santiago, was driving home from work.
That's when he says he was rear-ended by 23-year-old Jamal Dixon and 22-year-old Kalib Gladney on Joseph Avenue in Rochester.
Santiago claims he told the men that he wanted to wait for RPD to respond to the crash. The two men drove off instead.
Santiago followed the car to Pardee Street where a second conversation occurred. He then says he asked the two men to wait for the police, but they drove off again towards Remington Street.
Chief Sheppard says Santiago's experience and judgement helped him know something was wrong; that he should follow the car and not wait for police.
"We have that all the time where somebody has a hit and run or they see a crime occur and they're going to follow that vehicle. They will talk to 911, give as much information as possible," said Chief Sheppard.
After circling the block, Santiago says Dixon and Gladney got out of their car and punched Santiago repeatedly in the face and head.
"At that point, he was assaulted, during the course of that assault, he defended himself by firing his personal firearm that he owned multiple times and the suspects fled the area," said Chief Sheppard.
That's when the other officers arrived and stopped both suspects. Chief Sheppard believes his officer acted appropriately.
"It appears that he anticipated there might be a problem, and prior to the officers actually getting to his location, again they did exit their vehicle, they did assault him and he defended himself," said Chief Sheppard.
All three men suffered non-life threatening injuries from the shooting and were treated at Strong Hospital.
Chief Sheppard says Santiago will remain off-duty until he recovers from his injuries. Both suspects could face additional charges.