(DailyVantage.com) – Police officers put their lives on the line every day they work. They never know exactly what situation their jobs will call them into when they don their uniforms. A North Carolina police officer doing her job recently came into the line of fire, but an unlikely ally saved her — her bodycam.
On August 22, officer Lauren Ehlke was on the job with two co-workers, Brandon Graham and Kristian Kurtzke. The three attempted to serve 60-year-old Brenda Donohue with an involuntary commitment order, which allows for treatment without consent when a person poses a danger to themselves or others. What should’ve been a routine job went horribly wrong.
The officers spoke with a gentleman who lived at the same house and said Donahue was sleeping but walked them upstairs to her bedroom. After stating she would not go with the police, she allegedly opened fire, and a gunshot knocked Ehlke’s bodycam off — the device likely prevented serious injury.
From there, the officers took cover. Donahue emerged from the bedroom with her weapon and pointed it at them when Graham shot her, hitting her in the head. Officers tried to administer first aid, but the woman died at the hospital. When they entered the premises, the officers said they didn’t know Donahue had a gun.
Police officer saved after body camera stops bullet shot at her
— Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton (@RiskAlert) January 26, 2023
The incident happened five months ago, but officials have only released the footage, from Officer Graham’s bodycam, because of a media request. The department unsuccessfully attempted to recover footage from Ehlke’s body cam after the incident, but the manufacturer indicated the unit was too damaged.
In a close-up, the video shows a bullet lodging in the center of the bodycam, essentially preventing further injury to the officer. The department placed officer Graham, who shot Donahue, on administrative leave while the incident remains under investigation, in keeping with departmental policies for officer-involving incidents.
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