Authorities say a woman fled from a traffic stop late Sunday night, leading police on a chase from Gatlinburg to Cosby that ended when an officer shot her.
According to a release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a woman was shot after allegedly hitting an officer with her vehicle following a chase involving a National Park Service Ranger, officers of the Gatlinburg Police Department and deputies from the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department. 4th District Attorney General James Dunn has requested an investigation of the shooting by the agency.
About 11:15 p.m. on Feb. 5, 2017 a National Park Service Ranger initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle for speeding on Highway 441 in Gatlinburg. As he approached the vehicle, a female driver who was later identified as 28-year-old Chelsey Dunbar of Chuckey, Tenn. turned the vehicle around and fled in the opposite direction, running over the ranger’s foot.
The ranger and Gatlinburg Police pursued Dunbar’s vehicle as she fled on Highway 321 to Cocke County. Deputies with the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit and Dunbar turned onto Highway 32, eventually pulling into the Smoky Mountain Elementary School.
“Deputies attempted to block the vehicle, at which point Dunbar rammed the front of a cruiser and drove over a curb in an attempt to flee,” a TBI statement said. “She then proceeded to travel a short distance before turning off the roadway and driving into a field. Deputies again tried to block Dunbar’s vehicle. During this attempt, Dunbar struck a deputy who had exited his vehicle. Dunbar’s vehicle continued to move toward the injured deputy, resulting in shots being fired at her.”
Dunbar was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment. Her condition was not released.
The injured Cocke County Deputy was also transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released.
“No park rangers were injured during the event,” said Dana Soehn, spokesperson for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
TBI’s Violent Crime Response Team responded to the scene. Agents worked throughout the night to gather evidence and conduct interviews.
The names of the officers involved in the incident were not released.