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Video: N.C. officer’s BWC stops suspect’s bullet from fatally wounding her

As officers entered a home to serve an involuntary commitment order, the woman opened fire, hitting an officer and forcing others to take cover


Photo/Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

By Ashley Silver

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Video released by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department shows the moments leading up to the shooting of a police officer by a woman who was being served with an involuntary commitment order and how her body-worn camera saved her life.

According to FOX 5 Atlanta and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, officers traveled to the home of suspect Brenda Donahue to transport her to a hospital for evaluation under an involuntary commitment order, which is issued by a court when a person is believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

A man answered the door for the officers, but the woman reportedly told the man to tell police she was sleeping. However, officers entered the home, but just as they were walking up the stairs, Donahue fired a shot, as shown in the video. The bullet hit one of the officers in her body-worn camera, prompting officers to dive for cover in the home.

“The officers showed a great amount of restraint by not just returning fire into the bedroom,” Sgt. Steven Winterhalter, lead firearms instructor for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, told FOX 5.

A short time later, officers attempted to approach Donahue’s bedroom again and she quickly exited, pointing a firearm in the direction of the officers. At that time, an officer shot at Donahue and missed. The officer fired a second shot and struck her. Officers called for backup and gave CPR until medics arrived.

“Alright Brenda, keep breathing for me, alright?” one officer says in the video. Donahue was transported to a local hospital, where she died.

The body-worn camera saved the life of the officer who was shot, lodging in the camera and preventing the bullet from fatally wounding her.

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