by Rod Bastanmehr
A New Hampshire grandmother was shot to death by state troopers earlier this week after what was reported as being a routine traffic stop.
According to the Concord Monitor, the state attorney general’s office released a statement Wednesday that details how events were set into motion that culminated in the fatal shooting of 45-year-old Wendy Lawrence.
Lawrence was pulled over Monday evening for speeding and driving erratically on Interstate 89, according to the state trooper who pulled her over. Initially, Lawrence gave the officer an identification card and claimed to have a legal driver’s license, but upon further inspection, the trooper discovered she was a habitual traffic offender driving with a suspended license—a revelation which caused Lawrence to speed away.
The state trooper allegedly pursued her long enough to describe her vehicle to other authorities, and then spotted Lawrence again not too soon after she sped away. The officer said that Lawrence, upon realizing that she’d been spotted, tried to drive away and nearly struck a pedestrian at an onramp to Interstate 93.
Additional state troopers joined in pursuit, and followed Lawrence to an intersection where, according to the statement, a trooper began shooting at Lawrence, striking her four times. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Details about the moments leading up to the shooting remain murky—regarding what, exactly, escalated the situation from high speed chase to fatal shootout—but a more in-depth investigation is underway.
Closer inspection of the car revealed that there were more shots fired than just the four that fatally wounded Lawrence. According to her boyfriend, around a dozen shots were fired. A neighbor who heard the shooting claims that Lawrence’s car did not strike any of the police cruises, contrary to early reports.