The officer was patrolling a rural road near Tarrant about 1 a.m. July 21. He radioed in to report that he was making a traffic stop, CNN affiliate WVTM reported.
Then, "Buchanan put out a help call with shots being fired in the background," Smith said Thursday. "For approximately 30 minutes, our communications dispatchers were unable to reach him."
Several other officers rushed out but were not able to find him, and dispatchers could not reach him.
Then, a call came in from a resident who reported an abandoned police vehicle on the railroad tracks with a bullet hole through the front window.
Tarrant Police officers rushed to the scene. Smith says they found the car and Buchanan on the ground, "appearing to be unconscious and holding his gun and moaning from his injuries."
At a hospital, the officer was found to have "no significant injuries," according to WVTM.
Smith relieved Buchanan of duty, put him on administrative leave and confiscated his badge, gun and ID.
Buchanan was reprimanded for filing false police reports in 2015 and 2016, according to an AL.com report that cited records from the Jefferson County Personnel Board.
Buchanan has been relieved of duty, Police Chief Patrick Smith said, and every case he handled is now under review.