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Monday, January 7, 2008

Shots Fired When Driver Attempts To Strike Deputy

   A Lawrenceburg woman was fired upon by local law enforcement officials Sunday evening after she allegedly attempted to pin a sheriff’s deputy between a tree and her car.

   Chief Deputy Terry Beecham with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department indicated Monday morning that the shooting came about as a result of a call to Walgreens Pharmacy, 312 East Gaines Street. Law enforcement officials had been summoned to the business after store employees discovered that a woman was attempting to pass a forged prescription for forty, ten milligram Lortab tablets. By the time officers arrived on the scene, they report the suspect had already left the pharmacy with the prescription.

   A press release issued through the department Monday points out that officers were, “already conducting an investigation on Rachel Ann Brown (the suspect) and boyfriend Dan Smith involving prescription fraud and forgery of prescription medications.”

   Around 1:00 p.m., reports indicate that Investigators Bud Smith and Gary Mills with the department’s Crime Suppression Unit made their way to the couple’s 541 Fall River road home, searching for Brown’s 1996 white Chevrolet Lumina. As they approached the home, Beecham explained, they noticed the suspect car turning onto nearby Rayfield Avenue. Deputies quickly turned onto Rayfield and were able to block the suspect’s path at the Freeman Street intersection.

   As Investigator Bud Smith explained to Brown that she was under arrest, the press release indicates that, “She tried to shut the door. Smith then grabbed Brown’s arm and ordered her out of the vehicle. She then put the car in reverse and accelerated, striking Smith with the door, then backed into a tree, almost pinning Smith between the car and the tree. At this time Mills fired one shot from his duty weapon at Brown’s vehicle, striking the radiator, in order to disable the vehicle. Brown accelerated even more, striking a resident’s mailbox and plastic reindeer, causing over $1,000 worth of property damage.”

   Beecham pointed out that Brown fled, heading in reverse down Freeman and Adams Avenue, then moving back onto Fall River Road. She then attempted to turn into her driveway, near Rayfield, however Beecham indicates that she “missed the driveway, went through the yard, and her vehicle came to rest in front of her residence.”

   At her home, officials report Brown fled on foot, “and was shortly thereafter taken into custody.”

   Brown and Smith were both secured at their home while a search warrant was obtained for the premises. Agents with the sheriff’s department then conducted a search of the home, assisted by Lawrenceburg Police Officers and members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. According to the press release, “Numerous blank prescription sheets were found with various doctor’s names on them. Also found were numerous pills and computer software believed to have been used to create the documents.”

   As a result of the incident, Brown was placed under arrest on charges of aggravated assault. She and Smith were both charged with drug related offenses and transported to the Lawrence County Jail where, Monday morning, they remained incarcerated.

   The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will conduct a mandatory investigation into the shooting.