POLICE fired shots at a driver of a car who rammed his way through a checkpoint in the city of Malaga in Spain’s Andalucia.
The shootout took place in the neighbourhood of La Palmilla at 7.30pm on Tuesday after the driver of the vehicle tried to run over one of the policemen.
Videos on social media showed people running for cover after they heard the shots, not knowing at the time they were fired by the police.
The police control was being operated by the Prevention and Reaction Unit of the National Police.
The special unit dedicated to policing in difficult areas was running a checkpoint in the neighbourhood of El Palmilla.
Out of the blue, a car drove through the choke point, almost running over an officer and smashing into police cars.
UPR police officers opened fire and finally stopped the vehicle.
They then arrested the 37-year-old male driver of the vehicle, a man of 59 and a woman aged 38.
At the same time officers had to deal with a brawl on the road behind the checkpoint.
The videos showed the moment when two men rolled around the floor fighting.
But National Police sources said that the two incidents were unrelated but happened at the same time, forcing them to take action.
The UPR unit is present in various cities around Spain.
They are well-armed with shotguns, assault rifles and sniper rifles apart from their standard-issue pistol.
But a local neighbourhood association called Palma-Palmilla spoke up against the use of weapons in the neighbourhood.
“There were people from Palma Palmilla who ended up throwing themselves to the floor of their homesafter hearing the shots,, afraid to approach the windows at the risk of getting shot,” it said of another recent shootout.
It said at the time it would ask the central government ‘for changes in the command structure of the National Police in Malaga’.