Woman shot 3 times after allegedly ramming sheriff's deputy with patrol car in Santa Cruz

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A female suspect was shot and a sheriff's deputy was injured during the early morning hours in rural Santa Cruz County on Friday. 

Authorities say they came across two suspicious vehicles parked near the Ocean Street extension at 3:30 a.m. and discovered one was reported stolen out of San Jose. Officers detained a man and woman standing near the stolen car. The woman managed to slip out of her handcuffs, gain control of a patrol vehicle and strike one of the deputies. 

"While deputies interviewed the man, the woman was able to slip out of her handcuffs, reach through a partially open window in the patrol car and open the door," Sheriff Jim Hart said.

The sheriff says the woman slipped into the driver's seat and proceeded to drive back and forth, ramming the deputy repeatedly as well as a second patrol car. 

That's when his partner opened fire.

"The deputy who had not been struck by the vehicle fired multiple rounds at the woman to stop the assault. The woman was struck by three bullets in the chest and the abdomen,” said Hart.

The woman was airlifted to the hospital, where she remains in ICU. She'll face attempted murder charges when she recovers.

The full extent of the deputy’s injuries is not known, the sheriff said. He was treated and released, but will need continued medical care.

Jim Thurber lives nearby. He heard the patrol cars whiz by and said, "It's not surprising that something happened. I just hope the deputies are ok."

Those who live in the area say there have been problems with campers and crime. But they've been hoping an increased police presence will help.

"There is a transient issue down there,” said Michael Lambert, who is renovating a property down the street. “And I think it may be drugs, I'm not sure what."

Authorities plan to release the names of those involved, as well as body worn camera video, sometime early next week.

"It would be nice if this gets the attention that's needed to get more patrols down here," Thurber said.