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A woman who Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said was shot after trying to hit an officer with her car Thursday will be charged with attempted murder when she’s released from the hospital.
CMPD on Friday identified the woman as Raynique Austin, 23, who was in stable condition at a local hospital.
When Austin is released from the hospital, police said, she’ll be charged with attempted murder, five counts of hit and run, fleeing to elude arrest and damage to property.
Officer Dustin Smith, who CMPD said fired at Austin during the incident, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations, police said. That is standard policy whenever an officer discharges his or her weapon.
Smith was taken to the hospital for evaluation but did not sustain significant injuries, police said. He began working with the department on July 23, 2018, and is assigned as a patrol officer in the Westover Division.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident, CMPD said in a statement Thursday night. The department’s Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting a parallel investigation to determine whether department policies and procedures were followed during the incident, police said.
Chief: Officer ‘had no other option’
The incident started at 4:08 p.m. Thursday, when officers responded to a call about an armed woman outside a business firing gunshots at a store owner in the 1200 block of Tyvola Road, CMPD said.
A police officer on a motorcycle was first on the scene and arrived as the woman was driving away, Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters. The woman then made “deliberate attempts” to hit the officer with her vehicle, he said.
“The officer arrived at the scene on a dirt-type bike and had to leave the bike as the suspect tried to run him over — multiple times,” Jennings said. “He had no other option” than to shoot at the driver.
When other officers tried to intercept the woman as she drove away, she refused to stop until the pursuit ended in the 7700 block of Cedar Creek Drive, near Johnston Road in south Charlotte, the department said.
Officers found her with “several apparent gunshot wounds,” CMPD said. Medic said it transported a person with life-threatening injuries.
A gun was recovered from the woman’s vehicle at the scene, CMPD said.
Three CMPD vehicles surrounded a Dodge parked in the grass at the Johnston Creek Crossing apartments, near the McMullen Creek shopping center, Thursday evening.
Staff writer Rogelio Aranda contributed.