The Morganton News Herald reported that a woman was injured after being shot by a Burke County officer on Interstate 40 near Exit 118 in Hildebran, NC.
At around 6:45 a.m., state troopers responded to multiple hit-and-run crash reports along I-40 between McDowell and Burke counties. A woman in a red convertible rear-ended two different vehicles along the interstate before speeding off. Sources say a "good Samaritan" in a pickup truck pulled over to help the same woman. However, the woman pointed a gun at the man forcing him to drive his truck eastbound on the interstate.
A state trooper located the pickup on the side of the road just outside of Exit 118. As he approached the truck's bed, the woman fired the gun at the trooper, who returned fire, shooting her. Life-saving measures were performed before EMS arrived and took the woman in stable condition to a nearby hospital for treatment. The trooper has been placed on administrative duty while the investigation continues.
Attorney Kristen Beightol is an experienced violent crimes lawyer who defends victims in criminal lawsuits within North Carolina. In a recent interview, Kristen shared when police-involved shooting victims may seek justice.
"Police officers have a legal obligation to protect and serve the community. They are often forced to make spontaneous decisions in order to protect others and themselves. However, shooting a firearm should be an officer's absolute last resort, and any misuse of power should be punishable by law. When someone has been seriously injured due to police misconduct, they may be entitled to file a police shooting lawsuit."
"Police shooting victims can file a lawsuit against the police department if it can be proved that the officer used unjustified or excessive force. The victim or their family may even receive financial compensation in the form of a court settlement if the police officer or department was found to act against policy. Victims and their families are encouraged to speak with an experienced attorney who can explain their legal options in the event of a police-involved shooting."