- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Portland man was shot by a Scappoose police officer after the man hit a different officer while driving a stolen car, authorities said.

Eric A. Caldwell, 40, was released from a hospital in Longview, Washington, on Monday and taken to jail, said Charlie Rosenzweig, chief criminal deputy for the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident began Sunday when a caller reported a car theft in the Dutch Canyon area of Columbia County - about 20 miles northwest of Portland. The caller followed the stolen vehicle as deputies responded.

Scappoose police officers, who were closer than the deputies, also responded.

Rosenzweig said Caldwell struck a Scappoose officer with the car and Caldwell was shot by another officer. The officer’s condition has not been released. It was not clear if he was in a car or on foot when he was struck.

Despite the gunshot wound, the driver eluded capture and the stolen car was found near a shopping center in Scappoose.

Another officer from a different city then spotted the man in another stolen vehicle headed north on Highway 30.

A chase followed across the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Washington state, where police stopped Caldwell on Interstate 5. He had a female passenger who has not been identified.

A Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy sustained a burned arm when his patrol SUV briefly caught on fire during the freeway stop. Rosenzweig said the fire was likely started by tall grass touching the exhaust catalytic converter.

The names of the Scappoose police officers - the one hit and the one who fired - have not been released. Oregon State Police will lead an investigation into the matter.

Court records show Caldwell has a criminal history and has served time in state prison.

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