Missouri police shoot, seriously injure woman who told officers she was pregnant, witness says

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A woman who was shot and injured by police in Kansas City, Missouri, during a reported carjacking had told responding officers she was pregnant, an eyewitness said.

The shooting occurred just after 8 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of a Family Dollar store after officers got a report about an armed carjacking, officials said. The officers who fired the shots are with the Kansas City Police Department.

The vehicle allegedly stolen was spotted in the store’s parking lot, said the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is investigating. No Highway Patrol officers were involved, it said.

An unidentified man in the car ran away and a woman, Leonna M. Hale, “exited the vehicle and fled into the parking lot,” the Highway Patrol tweeted Saturday.

Two officers fired shots and seriously injured Hale, the Highway Patrol said.

Two other officers ran after the man. He was arrested and taken to the hospital later in unknown condition for an unrelated medical issue, Highway Patrol Sgt. Andy Bell said Tuesday.

It is not clear what led up to the shooting. Bell alleged that Hale got out of the vehicle with a firearm in her hand and that the gun was found at the scene after she was shot and placed in handcuffs.

Hale, 26, is stable in a hospital, the Highway Patrol said. Efforts to reach Hale’s family were unsuccessful. It was unclear whether she had retained legal representation.

Bell said the incident was captured on police body camera videos. Two officers were placed on paid administrative leave, a standard procedure, a Kansas City police spokesperson said.

The shooting happened after police in Missouri got a report about an alleged armed carjacking in nearby Kansas City, Kansas. Police in Kansas said the victim said a man and woman took their vehicle and fled.

Police in Kansas did not pursue the duo and were not involved in the shooting in Missouri, a spokeswoman with Kansas police said Tuesday.

Part of the aftermath of the shooting was captured on cellphone video and posted on social media by a witness, Shé Danja.

Shé Danja, who declined to give her last name, told The Kansas City Star that she was with her three children to get gasoline and ice cream when she heard officers yelling for someone to “get out the car.”

She said the man got out, jumped a fence and ran. She said the woman got out of the car with her hands in the air.

“She did not pull out a weapon on them. She did not even have a stick in her hand,” Shé Danja told the newspaper.

Shé Danja said that police told the woman to get on the ground but that she said she could not because she was pregnant.

Asked whether Hale was pregnant and questioned about reports that she told police she was pregnant, Bell said Tuesday that he could not confirm those details.

Kansas City police said in a statement Saturday, “Information we had on Friday from the hospital is that there is no indication the woman is pregnant.”

The woman also told police that there was a gun in the car, Shé Danja said. She said police fired after the woman ran a few steps away from them.

“One, two, three, four, five. I remember it because it didn’t stop. They shot five times,” Shé Danja said in a phone interview Saturday with The Star. “I remember seeing her hit the ground and I froze.”

The Highway Patrol investigation continues.