NBC10.com- George Spencer
A Mullica Township police officer opens fire during a traffic stop on Thursday. The suspect ran off. Now, the Atlantic County prosecutor is investigating.
What began as a routine traffic stop, ended with an Atlantic County, N.J. firing his weapon at a driver.
Mullica Township Police officer pulled over driver Alexander Nayaran, 36, near the intersection of Moss Mill Road and Darmstadt Avenue at 4:40 p.m. on Thursday, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said.
Law enforcement sources tell NBC10 that Nayaran may have grabbed the officer's arm over the course of his investigation, which prompted the officer to fire his gun at least one time.
Nayaran fled the scene following the shooting and ditched his car in a development in Galloway Township, N.J., officials said.
Police from Mullica Township and surrounding municipalities fanned out across the Galloway Township neighborhood, directly off Route 30, looking for the suspect.
Investigators focused their search primarily on one home and a car at Fairview and Jackson Streets.
Residents were told to stay inside and away from the search.
"Once the cops had saw me, he said 'Turn around and go home.' And I said, 'Is there anything wrong?' He said, 'Thank you, have a good night.' And that was it," said resident Anthony Rough.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office sent out a mug shot of Nayaran on Friday.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest and Nayaran is charged with aggravated assault and eluding police.
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 609.909.7666.