A woman who Mendocino County authorities said confronted officers with a handgun Tuesday morning after crashing a stolen sports car in a high-speed chase was shot dead by law enforcement.
The woman, who has not been identified, was suspected of stealing a Chevrolet Camaro during an armed robbery around 9:25 a.m. at Thurston Auto Plaza in Ukiah, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. She then fled on Highway 101 traveling north at high speeds.
A short time later, a deputy spotted the stolen Camaro on the highway, near the Cal Fire Howard Forest Station, the Sheriff’s Office said. The deputy attempted to stop the woman but a pursuit ensued with speeds exceeding 100 mph, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The woman crashed the stolen Camaro north of Willits on Highway 101 after additional deputies and Willits police officers joined the pursuit, authorities said.
She then got out of the car, confronted law enforcement while holding a handgun and was shot and killed, the Sheriff’s Office said. No deputies or officers were injured. Authorities did not say who among the law enforcement present fired at the woman or how many shots were fired. Her name, age and place of residence were withheld Tuesday by authorities.
Sheriff Tom Allman posted on Facebook Tuesday evening that the incident involved a total of five local law enforcement officers who were “called to intercept a very dangerous situation.”
“They protected innocent motorists who were witnessing a very dangerous, and ultimately deadly, situation,” he wrote. “To the hundred of residents who have reached out in support, thank you. Thank you for recognizing that these men did, unfortunately, what had to be done.”
Allman ended his post saying he hoped the county’s recently approved sales tax to support mental health services would decrease such “situations.” No details were provided Tuesday on the woman’s medical history.
Sheriff’s officials pressed earlier in the day for other basic information about the shooting deferred all questions to the District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating. A spokesman for the office, Mike Geniella, said he had no additional information to provide Tuesday. He referred questions to the Sheriff’s Office.
Highway 101 was closed into the afternoon to preserve evidence for the investigation.
You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @nrahaim.