Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office deputies in California shot a woman who escaped from custody and rammed a deputy with a patrol car. Body cam footage of the incident can be seen above.
A SCSO press release says that on the morning of May 18, deputies were patrolling a neighborhood when they spotted two cars parked in a turnout at the end of a road. One of the cars, a Honda, had been reported stolen out of San Jose. Standing in between the two cars were 27-year-old Jessica Lowe and another unidentified man.
Deputies placed Lowe and the man in handcuffs and put them in two separate patrol cars. Deputy August Waltrip started searching the stolen Honda while another deputy interviewed the man in the back of the patrol car.
Suspect Rams Officer
While this was going on, Lowe “slipped out” of her handcuffs, according to the presser. She then reached through the window next to her and opened the door of the patrol car she was being held in.
Instead of bolting from the scene, Lowe got into the driver’s seat of the patrol car and drove it towards the second deputy. The car hit the deputy with such force that it threw him into the back seat of his car, causing “significant injuries,” SCSO said.
Santa Cruz Deputy Shoots
Waltrip drew his duty gun and—in fear for the life of his partner—shot at Lowe twice as he opened the driver’s side door to stop her. He could reportedly hear his partner screaming in pain, but couldn’t see him. When Waltrip ran around to the back of the car driven by Lowe, the car started backing up towards him. Waltrip discharged his weapon several more times.
Eventually, Waltrip got himself and his partner behind a tree while Lowe stopped the car. He ordered her to get out of the car and stay on the ground, which she did. Backup arrived shortly thereafter and applied first aid to Lowe, who was shot three times.
Lowe was transported to a local trauma center, where she underwent surgery and is expected to survive. The injured Santa Cruz deputy was treated and released, but will need “future medical care,” SCSO says.
When Lowe gets out of the hospital, she’ll have a charge of attempted murder of a peace officer waiting for her. She’s also being charged with assault with a weapon against a peace officer, resisting arrest, vehicle theft, escape from custody, and committing a felony while out on bail.