LAKELAND, Fla. – A Lakeland officer shot an armed carjacking suspect early Thursday morning, the police department said.

Terrese Colston, 28, of Tampa is accused of shooting at a Lakeland police officer around 12:43 a.m. Thursday near 2200 Interstate Drive. Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens said officer Alan Rethwisch returned fire and hit Colston in the leg.

"We know that he {Colston} is a convicted felon and is currently under an injunction for protection that was issued to him in 2016, so he should not have been armed with the firearm that he shot at our {officer}," Giddens said.

First responders took Colston to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment for the gunshot wound. Giddens said officer Rethwisch was not shot but had minor injuries to his left arm and his forehead.

"I think that officers – when they find themselves in these situations – I think that there is a bit of luck that comes into it, but it also I think that it has to do with our training," Giddens said.

Police initially responded to a report of a carjacking around 7:09 p.m. Wednesday on East Lemon Street near Tyler Avenue, Giddens said.

Colston approached a man sitting in his car, displayed a handgun and demanded the car, according to Giddens.

Giddens said police also are interviewing a man who witnessed the alleged carjacking. Rethwisch saw the car that was carjacked early Thursday morning, Giddens said.

Colston then drove into a field, left the car once it became disabled and began running, according to Giddens.

Eventually, Rethwisch caught up to Colston before the two exchanged gunfire, Giddens said.

Investigators say it appears Colston's revolver "malfunctioned" after he fired two rounds, which might have just saved Rethwisch's life. The gun was found with the barrel damaged.

Investigators will interview how Rethwisch responded before pressing charges against Colston.

The investigation is ongoing.

Watch: Click or tap here to watch Thursday's news conference in its entirety

10News reporter Josh Sidorowicz contributed to this report.

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