Woman charged for hitting Santa Cruz deputy with patrol car; body camera footage released

- Tuesday the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office identified the woman accused of escaping handcuffs and running a patrol car into a deputy Friday.

Officials also released several dramatic videos from body-worn cameras showing the officer-involved shooting that followed.

"I've observed and watched the video several times. It's chaotic, it's jarring and it's frightening," said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart. "This shows you in law enforcement how quickly things turn chaotic." 


Investigators say the two deputies had taken a man and woman into custody during a stolen car investigation around 3:30 a.m. Friday near the Ocean Street extension and placed them in handcuffs in separate patrol cars.

Video shows one deputy who had been searching the stolen car run over to where his partner was after hearing a disturbance. 

The Sheriff says the deputies found the woman who they had handcuffed now driving their patrol car. Investigators say she rammed that car into a second deputy who was interviewing the man in the other patrol car.

The first deputy opened fire on the car once at that time. And then a second time when the patrol car backed up. And a third time when the Sheriff's vehicle drove forward, firing a total of 18 shots.

The whole chaotic incident all took place in about one minute.

"There were plenty of opportunities for the suspect to choose not to use the vehicle to assault the deputy, to drive the vehicle away from area, to run away, to do anything but assault the deputy," said Santa Cruz County's Chief Deputy Craig Wilson. "That's why we know this was a deliberate attack."
The Sheriff's office also released video from the injured deputy's point of view.

The woman driving the car was identified by sheriff’s as 27-year-old Jessica Lowe of Santa Cruz County. They say she was known to them but they did not release any criminal history.

Lowe was shot three times and survived. She faces six felony charges including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer. Lowe is still in the hospital and expected to be booked when she is released. 

The injured deputy is recovering at home. And the deputy who fired his weapon, who has been with the Sheriff's office for three years, is expected to return to work next week.

The department says it's considering several changes to its vehicles and windows on the cars because of the incident.

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