The mother of a woman who was shot by a state trooper and a sheriff’s deputy after they say she fired at them says her daughter did not own a gun.
Tina Renee Medlin, 50, of Raleigh remained in critical condition at WakeMed on Monday. Authorities say she was driving a GMC Yukon XL on Interstate 40 near Benson on Saturday morning when she veered off the road and crashed into an embankment.
A State Highway Patrol spokesman said that when a trooper arrived, he found Medlin lying in the westbound lanes of I-40, armed with a gun, which puzzles her mother.
“She’s never shot one,” Janet B. Medlin, 72, said Monday afternoon. “We have questions, too.”
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The Highway Patrol and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office have said little about the circumstances that led to the crash and shooting. The Highway Patrol said Trooper J. L. Taylor, a 16-year veteran assigned to Johnston County, and sheriff’s deputy Taylor Davis returned fire after Medlin shot at them.
Both Taylor and Davis have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation – standard procedure when law enforcement officers are involved in a shooting.
At least a dozen people called 911 to report the accident, according to recordings of the calls released Monday by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. Some of the callers said they had seen someone lying on the ground, while two reported the SUV had passed them at a high rate of speed before the accident.
At least two callers reported seeing a man standing and pointing a gun at the wrecked vehicle. Neither the Highway Patrol or the sheriff’s office have mentioned a man with a gun at the scene.
Also Monday, the sheriff’s office released some of the radio traffic between law enforcement officers responding to the accident. “A female there is advising she’s wanting to kill herself,” a dispatcher says. “She had a gun.”
After the incident Saturday, state authorities initially assumed that Medlin had died, but now say she is in critical condition at WakeMed. Medlin runs Ultimate Cleaning Service in Raleigh.
Investigators have not said if alcohol played a role in the accident and subsequent shooting. Medlin has had previous run-ins with the law that resulted in convictions for driving while impaired, assault on a government official, assault on a policeman and other alcohol-related offenses in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Medlin has a criminal history that dates back to 1987 when she was charged in Wake County with driving while impaired and later convicted of reckless driving to endanger, according to state records.
One year later she was charged with assault on a policeman in Randolph County and sentenced to probation. A district court judge ordered Medlin to undergo an alcohol abuse assessment as a condition of her probation, state records show.
Medlin was convicted of DWI again in 1990, along with failure to heed sirens and speeding. A Wake County judge sentenced Medlin to three years probation but ordered her to spend nine days in the Wake County jail and surrender her driver's license, state records show.
In 2013, Medlin was convicted of assault on a government official and sentenced to 36 months probation. A Wake County judge ordered Medlin to continue in Alcoholics Anonymous as a condition of her probation, state records show.