Witness: "They're stealing that car"
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)-- New developments are surfacing Sunday night in an officer-involved shooting in Bradley County.
The woman, who crashed a patrol car after being shot by police, had been driving a stolen car from Florida.
The woman was seen Saturday afternoon walking with two children on Interstate 75 in Cleveland.
A sheriff's deputy stopped to check on them near exit 20.
That's when officials say she pulled a knife on Deputy Dustin Patrick cutting him. She then drove off in his patrol car, crashing it nearly 200 yards away.
Multiple shots were fired as the woman drove off, which is what Jennifer Sawyer wrote on the witness statement.
She and her children were traveling northbound to Knoxville, when she saw the unusual sight in the middle of I-75. Sawyer says she watched the deputy draw his gun, while several people circled the patrol car.
Still, authorities have only confirmed one female suspect in her 30's, who later died at Erlanger.
"I said to my girls, 'they're stealing the car'," says Sawyer.
From the moment Jennifer Sawyer passed the police car near Cleveland exit 20, she thought the whole thing looked weird.
Sawyer and her three daughters passed by the scene, with the mom keeping a watch in her rearview.
"I thought I saw two kids, a woman, a man and possibly a 10 to 13-year-old a teenager," says Sawyer.
Sawyer later wrote this on a witness statement.
She pulled over when she noticed what she calls 'a commotion' around the patrol car.
"And then I observed a couple of people running around his car," says Sawyer.
By that point the mom was about half a mile up the road.
"I noticed one or two people get in his police car," says Sawyer.
That's when officials say the woman in her 30's pulled a knife on Bradley County Sheriff's Deputy Dustin Patrick, cutting him.
"And started slashing at the deputy, cutting him on the left hand, she continued slashing at him, he drew his service revolver and fired as she was getting into the patrol car," says Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Bob Gault.
Sawyer says minutes later the vehicle passed her.
"Swerving erratically, just going very fast, switching between lanes, everybody at that point that was there pulled over," says Sawyer.
The car crashed into a tree on Old Harrison Pike. The woman was transported to Erlanger where she later died.
Sunday, Channel 3 learned the abandoned car police found nearby was reported stolen out of Florida. Sawyer says she's still wonders why it happened in the first place.
"At that point I thought something more serious is going on here, a number of things ran through my head cause who would leave their kids," says Sawyer.
We do know the two children are related to the woman and are currently with child services.
Deputy Dustin Patrick was not seriously injured.
He is on administrative leave while the TBI investigates the shooting.