Police shoot escapee holding gun to son's head


May 9, 2003, 10:55 PM
good police marksmanship: through the eyeball, but she's stell alive???:confused:
go to link to see pic of "Police Revovler" she stole. looks glockish

Police shoot escapee holding gun to son's head
Woman in critical condition in Tennessee hospital
Friday, May 9, 2003 Posted: 6:46 PM EDT (2246 GMT)

SMITHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- A woman was in critical condition Friday after she escaped from jail, kidnapped her 3-year-old son and -- while holding a gun to his head -- was shot by police, officials said.

Karen Lynn Lovell, 28, would likely have been released from the DeKalb County jail soon, said Chief Deputy Milton Bowling of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. But instead of waiting for her release, Lovell stole a police car; kidnapped her son; shot a family pet; shot at a police officer after hitting him with a stolen police cruiser; and finally pointed a stolen police revolver at her son's head.

She was shot near an eye by an officer who watched the final showdown unfold.

The incident began shortly after midnight Thursday, when Lovell suffered what appeared to be a seizure while serving a sentence at the jail, Bowling said.

Lovell was taken to nearby Baptist DeKalb Hospital, where a doctor said she appeared to be fine, and discharged her about 1:15 a.m., Bowling said.

But as the corrections officer took Lovell back to the jail, he thought he smelled marijuana coming from the men's annex, Bowling said.

He went to investigate, leaving his gun with a female corrections officer and giving Lovell an opportunity, Bowling said.

"Somehow she ended up with the gun and the keys to the patrol unit," he said.

Lovell took the gun and, using the keys she had also taken, drove off in one of the department's Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars, he said.

A dispatcher for the sheriff's department said she knew Bowling's sister lived in Dowelltown, Tennessee, about six miles away, and suggested that the inmate had gone there, Bowling said.

Lovell had done just that -- driving to the house where her sister lived with her husband, their three children and Lovell's son, Bowling said.

The family reunion was violent.

"She took the kid at gunpoint; she shot the family dog, a Doberman pinscher, inside the house," he said.

Lovell then got back into the stolen police car and fled, taking her son with her, he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy David Ward had set up a roadblock half a mile from the family's house.

Soon, at the wheel of the stolen patrol car, Lovell approached the roadblock, Bowling said.

The driver ignored Ward's blue lights, and instead hit the deputy, who was outside his car. Lovell fired one round through the windshield that missed, Bowling said.

Ward was taken to a hospital, treated and released, Bowling said.

Although the roadblock didn't stop her, it did cause her to lose control of the car, and -- a quarter-mile up the road -- plowed into a field, where it became stuck in a ditch, he said.

Carrying her son, Lovell emerged from the car and ran into thick woods nearby.

"It's an excellent place to hide," Bowling said.

For several hours, officers and dogs from a neighboring sheriff's department and a fixed-wing plane equipped with infrared-detection equipment from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation failed to find the two.

About 11 a.m., a helicopter from the State Highway Patrol apparently flushed them from the thicket, because the woman walked out of the woods, her son in her arms, Bowling said.

"She had a gun at her baby's head," he said.

By this time, television cameras had assembled and captured the image of Lovell, clad in a white T-shirt, walking to the porch of a nearby house, smiling and appearing almost nonchalant as she pointed the gun in various directions as though she were playing with it.

It wasn't until she pointed it toward the head of her son that Capt. Mark Collins fired once, striking her near her eye.

"She dropped the gun and dropped the baby," Bowling said.

Collins then ran forward, grabbed the sobbing toddler and carried him away.

Lovell was taken by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.

"At this time, she's still alive," said Bowling, who praised Collins' work.

"By doing what he did, he saved the baby's life," he said. "He felt sure she was going to kill the baby."

Investigators have turned up "some letters and maybe some statements from her that, if she ever got an opportunity to get out, she would kill the baby and herself," he said.

Lovell, who had been extradited from Michigan for failing to appear on a charge of what Bowling described as "maybe aggravated assault or stalking or something like that," would likely have been released soon, he said.

"She was probably going to be out next month," he said. "We were talking about buying her a bus ticket and sending her back to Michigan -- we're so overcrowded."

TBI will investigate the escape.

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May 9, 2003, 11:07 PM
I reckon they'd better pass a law for all LEO firearms to be carried with a triggerlock installed. Gotta protect them escapees from hurting themselves and others by overpowering a cop and taking their gun.

Standing Wolf
May 9, 2003, 11:20 PM
"She was probably going to be out next month," he said. "We were talking about buying her a bus ticket and sending her back to Michigan -- we're so overcrowded."

Make a little room: she's obviously a keeper.

May 9, 2003, 11:30 PM
I'm hoping she's not a "keeper", but a "die-er"

Unbelievable! All I'm thinking about is the little infink and the family.

May 10, 2003, 04:52 AM

Woman Holds Gun to Son's Head After Jail Escape

SMITHVILLE, Tenn. — A woman who escaped from a Tennessee county jail and fled in a stolen police car grinned Friday as she put a gun to her 3-year-old son's head when the cops surrounded her.

Karen Lynn Lovell, who kidnapped the boy from his legal guardian after escaping from the DeKalb County jail, was shot and seriously injured by a deputy as she held the child, police said.

Minutes earlier, surrounded by the cops, she had held her son in her arms and put her gun to his head, threatening to shoot unless police backed off. Television news crews from Nashville videotaped the incident.

The child wasn't injured, but television footage showed him crying and with blood on his face as a law enforcement officer carried him from the scene. The deputy also was not injured.

Authorities said Lovell was shot once and sent to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.

"The child is safe and that's absolutely the No. 1 thing," a visibly upset Sheriff Lloyd Emmons said. "Unfortunately, she engaged my deputy with the handgun, and she was shot. She is still alive and she is going to Erlanger by air ambulance. We certainly hope she'll be all right."

According to DeKalb authorities, the incident began late Thursday when Lovell faked a seizure and was taken from the jail to a local hospital.

As she was brought back to the jail about 1 a.m. Friday, she managed to slip away from deputies and stole a patrol car, sheriff's dispatcher Janice Higham said.

She then went to the home of her sister, who has legal custody of Lovell's child, and took the boy at gunpoint, officials said.

A deputy set up a roadblock nearby, but Lovell charged through it, striking and slightly injuring him.

"She hit one of our officers with the vehicle, then she wrecked the vehicle," Higham said.

Lovell, who was serving a jail sentence for harassment and stalking, took off on foot with the boy.

Lovell was found by authorities outside a home just down the street from where she abducted her son.

The deputy who fired the shot was not identified but reports described him as upset and crying after the incident.
Video link available on FOX homepage

May 10, 2003, 09:23 AM
i quess that cop hasn't read any of the "police are lousy shots" threads on the high road. 187

El Tejon
May 10, 2003, 09:28 AM
Buy that cop a beer!

Buy that kid some therapy for the next 15 years!:(

May 10, 2003, 09:39 AM
The boy might not have been close to his mother. God knows how much time she actually spent with him and what she was like. Perhaps he sees the aunt as his real mother -- and his mom, as a stranger. Still, terrible to see but I'd have done the same thing in that cop's shoes. Anyone threaten to kill a child should be taken out, not reasoned with. Point a gun at a child's head, coffee talk is over.

I've always been curious about how cop's train at the gun range. What is the required distance they have to take fire, and what is the degree of accuracy they have to have at that distance to pass their mandatory shooting tests?

May 10, 2003, 09:43 AM
' Saw a short video of this last night as 9:59 "teaser", then again on the 10:00 news. Wild eyed blonde with little boy near left shoulder and waving a Glock with right hand, finger on the trigger the whole time. Definitely turned it and pointed at the poor kid's head. It sounds like the cop capped her shortly after that - with very good reason. The news I watched said she was killed with one shot.

El Tejon
May 10, 2003, 09:52 AM
Grey, radio here (out of Indy, Lafayette, and Chicago) sez she lived and was being treated? DOA at horsepistol???:confused:

Tim Burke
May 10, 2003, 11:24 AM
The moment that picture was taken would have been a fine time to put one between her eyes. Drudge had a picture of her pointing the gun at the kid's head with her finger on the trigger.

May 10, 2003, 11:31 AM
Can anyone recall a domestic hostage incident where the HT has ended up on top, not just getting away alive but really accomplishing something?

May 10, 2003, 11:35 AM
What did we learn from this?
If you escape from prison, steal a police car and pistol, pull a hit and run on a cop, kidnap a child and point the pistol at police and the child, expect to get shot by the cops.

Some people were brought into this world with a less-than-full magazine. :rolleyes: I bet she even tries to sue the cops for shooting her...


May 10, 2003, 12:59 PM
From article-- "pointed a stolen police revolver at her son's head. "

So was a Glock or a revolver? Not that I doubt the accuracy of a CNN article... :rolleyes:

May 10, 2003, 01:33 PM
I've got a clear picture of the woman with a gun to her son's head. It's a Glock.

May 10, 2003, 01:56 PM
That's truly horrible... anyone that would put a loaded gun to the head of their own 3-year old child does not deserve to live free. Under any circumstance... period.


May 10, 2003, 02:00 PM
Raise a glass to Captain Collins. Well done, sir.


May 10, 2003, 02:07 PM
Duplicate threads merged. I generally prefer locking and directing to merging, but I don't think it disrupted the conversation too much this time. I hope.


May 10, 2003, 02:09 PM
They said the Captin started crying afterwards and had to be comforted by his fellow cops. It's unfortuate but considering the woman's actions, he had no choice. Anyone that threatens a child should be killed, not reasoned with. The fact that she shot the dog should have been a good indication that she wasn't willing to talk. I think the real question here is what's going to happen to the deputy that lost his Glock and car to this woman. He/She will have some explaining to do...:rolleyes:

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