A New Hampshire grandmother was shot and killed by state police Monday after leading troopers on a high-speed car chase, according to NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston.
Wendy Lawrence, 45, of Canterbury, N.H., was struck by gunfire four times by a state trooper, officials with the state attorney general's office said. Authorities determined the cause of death was a single gunshot to the chest.
Authorities said a New Hampshire State Police trooper stopped a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that was being operated "erratically" on a southbound highway at roughly 6:30 p.m. Monday, according to a statement from Jeffery A. Strelzin, the senior assistant state attorney general.
After the trooper asked to see Lawrence's license, she showed him a non-driver's ID. When the trooper took the ID back to his cruiser to check Lawrence's record, he discovered she was a habitual offender and that her license was suspended, according to the statement.
That's when Lawrence suddenly took off in her vehicle, speeding southbound toward Concord, N.H., the statement said.
After launching and then suspending a brief pursuit in his cruiser, the report said the the trooper then came upon Lawrence's car idling sideways on an inter-state road. Lawrence then sped away, nearly striking a person who was on the highway.
Multiple state police troopers aided in trying to apprehend Lawrence, following her to an interstate in Manchester, N.H. It was there that a trooper discharged his weapon, fatally wounding Lawrence.
It was not immediately clear what exactly prompted the trooper to fire his gun. Officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding Lawrence's death.
She was later taken to Elliot Hospital in Manchester, where she was pronounced dead.
An autopsy conducted by the state's chief medical examiner found that Lawrence had been struck by gunfire four times.
Lawrence's boyfriend, Charles Peter, told NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston that Lawrence was a mother of two who recently became a grandmother.
"She was a wonderful person. She wouldn't hurt anybody," Peter told the station.
Peter suggested to the station that the trooper who discharged his weapon had acted excessively.
He asked: "If it's somebody who wouldn't stop, what happened to shooting the tires?"
"I don't think we'll ever know the truth," Peter said. "But all I know is I don't have a girlfriend anymore."
He added, fighting back tears: "All I have is a little dog to remember her by."
First published October 2 2013, 3:33 PM