GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Gastonia woman who was shot by police is in critical condition but stable, police said.
“Oh, God, that was terrible,” said neighbor Donnie Morgan, who lives across the street from the victim. “She’s just a little bitty thing, too, she probably don’t weigh 100 pounds. I don’t know what happened.”
Shae Jones, 33, was air-lifted to a Charlotte hospital following an early morning encounter police. Shortly before 12:15 a.m. Monday, Gastonia police received a call about an overdose at a home on Mountain Avenue.
When officers arrived, they found Jones “armed with a gun inside” the residence, police said.
It is unclear who called police, if anyone was under the influence of drugs, or what led to Jones being shot.
Morgan, and another neighbor who lives across the street, both say they didn’t hear anything at the time of the shooting. Both describe Jones as quiet and say she suffers from seizures. She was due to have brain surgery soon, both neighbors tell FOX 46.
Morgan has lived on Mountain Avenue for nearly five years and says he was good friends with Jones.
“I never known her to do any kind of drugs,” he said. “I know she had seizures. She has pretty bad seizures. She was supposed to go either this week or next week to have surgery for the seizures.”
He woke up to “police cars everywhere” and saw Jones in the back of an ambulance as paramedics gave her CPR.
“She was a good girl,” he said. “That just don’t make any sense.”
He says Jones lived with her young son and owned a shotgun, which she kept for protection. Outside the home are the toys of a young child. It’s unclear if anyone else was inside the home at the time of the shooting.
Morgan questions whether police needed to shoot his neighbor.
“I just, it’s just unreal. I just don’t know what to say about it,” he said. “They should have tried more than what they did besides shooting I think. I really do. I think they should have tried to talk her down. Because like I say she don’t weigh maybe 100 pounds. I’m sure they could have talked her down.”
FOX 46 asked Gastonia Police what its de-escalation policies are when dealing with someone who may be on drugs or having a mental health episode but we did not get a response.
Gastonia Officer. K. Solano-Garita, who was involved with the shooting, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, per protocol.
The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the shooting. The Gastonia Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards will conduct a separate investigation to determine whether department policies and procedures were followed.
The SBI and GPD investigations “are underway and no further information can be released at this time,” officials said.
“That just don’t make any sense,” Morgan said.