ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police officer was shot multiple times as she approached a car during a routine traffic stop Wednesday.
Officer Jean Mills, 45, suffered wounds to her abdomen and arm and underwent surgery until early afternoon, said a police spokesman, Lt. Dave Parker. Doctors were pleased with the results of the surgery, he said.
The officer, who is a 12-year veteran of the force, was following standard department procedure by wearing a bulletproof vest, Parker said.
Authorities said they were "blanketing the town" looking for the suspect. They have a description of the suspect but have not released it "for investigative reasons," Parker said.
Police said the incident began with a routine traffic stop at 3:15 a.m. in east Anchorage. Parker said he did not know the reason why Mills pulled over the maroon Taurus.
He said she approached the car on foot, and "when she was outside the window, the person pulled a gun and shot her."
He did not say whether more than one person was in the car.
"That information the detectives aren't releasing yet," he said.
Neighbors told KTUU-TV they woke up to gunshots and screams for help. More than three dozen officers, including a SWAT team, rushed to the area.
The suspect's car was found roughly two miles away near East High School several hours later, Parker said.
Parker called Mills an excellent and respected officer who has worked the same shift most of her career.
It's the second time this year a police officer has been shot in Anchorage. Officer Jason Allen was wounded Jan. 9 when a car pulled up next to his vehicle and a passenger fired. The 47-year-old officer, hit multiple times in his arms and torso, is recovering and police are looking for the shooter, Parker said.
There is no immediate indication the shootings are related, Parker said.