Body camera video released after woman shot at CMPD officers

Police have released body camera footage after a woman was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police over the summer.

The shooting happened on Aug. 19, 2022 at a home on St. Croix Lane, which is in the Raintree neighborhood west of Providence Road. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers said they went to the home to serve an involuntary commitment order.

Police said someone answered the door but then Brenda Donahue, 60, started shooting at three officers. Officer Brandon Graham returned fire, hitting Donahue, CMPD said. She was taken to the hospital that day and died from her injuries six days later, authorities said.

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One of the officers was hit but her protective gear stopped the bullet, CMPD said.

On Tuesday, CMPD released the footage from one officer’s body-worn camera. The video shows several CMPD officers walk up to the door of the home and try to talk to Donahue through a closed door inside the home.

Channel 9 is not sharing the full unedited video.

“It’s the police, ma’am, can you open up the door?” one CMPD officer is heard saying.

The same officer tells the woman, “OK, well I have paperwork that says” before one gunshot is heard.

Video shows the officers scrambling down the stairs, with more gunshots heard. It’s not clear from the video who fired the subsequent shots. About 10 seconds later, two more shots were fired.

“She pointed the gun down over the awning right at me,” said the officer whose video was released. The officer was downstairs inside the home and told another person in the home to get outside.

The officer who was shot told the other officers she was hit in her body-worn camera. The other officers tell her to check under her vest to make sure she isn’t bleeding.

After that, the officers started attending to Donahue, who was motionless on the ground near the door. The officers put pressure on Donahue’s gunshot wound and an officer began administering CPR.

First responders arrived several minutes later and took over the medical care before Donahue was taken to the hospital.

CMPD released portions of the video on its YouTube page. Viewer discretion is advised.

Graham was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard policy in an officer-involved shooting.

“(This is) just a prime example of how dangerous these situations can get,” CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said the day of the shooting. “How quickly they can escalate. And also a prime example of how important it is that our officers are wearing the protective equipment that they’re assigned.”

CMPD’s Internal Affairs division and the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the shooting, which is standard procedure.

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