published Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Report: Deputy shot woman 7 or 8 times

Investigators search for clues in the median of I-75 Saturday where a Bradley County deputy sheriff stopped to check on a woman and two small children walking. The woman allegedly slashed the deputy with a knife, and he fired at her as she stole the patrol car. The woman drove a short distrance before plowing through a fence and coming to rest on a Cleveland street.
Staff photo by Randall Higgins
Investigators search for clues in the median of I-75 Saturday where a Bradley County deputy sheriff stopped to check on a woman and two small children walking. The woman allegedly slashed the deputy with a knife, and he fired at her as she stole the patrol car. The woman drove a short distrance before plowing through a fence and coming to rest on a Cleveland street. Staff photo by Randall Higgins


To view the TV news interview with Foster’s sister in Louisville, Ky., go to

A Bradley County Sheriff’s Office deputy shot a woman at least seven times after she cut him with a knife and went for his patrol car on Interstate 75, according to a medical examiner’s report.

Armetta Foster, 30, of Casselberry, Fla., was shot in front of her two children, ages 10 and 6, after Deputy Dustin Patrick stopped to check on them as they walked north along the side of the highway on May 22. The shooting occurred about 1:40 p.m.

Six of the bullets hit Foster in the left thigh and buttocks, tearing into her vagina and bladder, according to the report released Tuesday afternoon from the Regional Forensic Center for the Office of the Medical Examiner in Knoxville. A seventh hit her in the left kidney and left-hand side of the liver and an eighth hit her in the left forearm, the report said.

However, it’s possible she was only shot seven times, the report said, because the bullet that entered her left forearm might have re-entered her body a second time on left side, hitting the kidney and liver, according to the report.

The report doesn’t say whether the bullets entered her from the front or the back.

Patrick remains on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, officials said.

“We think he did everything proper,” said Bob Gault, public information officer for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

Passing motorists reported seeing the family walking north on the interstate and called deputies.

Foster reportedly attacked Patrick with a knife before going for his patrol car. He fired an unknown number of rounds. Five bullets were recovered from her body, the report said.

Witnesses said the patrol car’s door had numerous bullet holes.

Despite her injuries, Foster was able to drive the patrol car about 2 1/2 miles before crashing through a barb-wire fence near the Harrison Pike overpass.

She was taken to Erlanger hospital where she died.

TBI is investigating the incident and could not be reached for comment.

Department of Children’s Services initially took in the children. It was unclear Tuesday whether the children were still with the department.

Family members of Foster’s in Louisville, Ky., believe she had a mental breakdown and thought the Rapture was coming, according to a Louisville report on WHAS-TV. The report said that Foster was on the phone with her sister when Patrick arrived.

“He should have known something wasn’t right with her. And the way she was talking to him at that time. You could tell she was discombobulated,” Foster’s sister, who declined to be named, told a television reporter.

In Florida, where Foster last lived, she had no prior criminal history. She was a recent suspect in a stolen car case, but otherwise she had no prior arrest history, said Lt. James Clark of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

A stolen car was found near exit 20 just before the shooting.

Family members have voiced criticism of how Patrick handled the situation.

The sheriff’s office said the department’s general guidelines were followed.

“He was doing what he was trained to do. He reacted according to his training,” Gault said.

The use of force policy states deputies can use deadly force if they believe the person will “pose a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

Bradley deputies have the option of carrying a Taser, Gault said, but he was unsure if Patrick carries one.

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MrAnderson said...

All of you who keep on trying to make this guy look like the he did what was completely acceptable need to think before they support such heavy handed and lethal actions ... First point is that every mention of this story is that she was shot before she took his car or just as she was taking it ... Anyone who knows even a little about shooting can tell that all of these bullets were fired while she was in the car and leaving / not attacking the deputy the way you people seem to want to tell it when facts are NOBODY WAS THERE but her and Dustin Patrick BCSD ... And those children ... by the way we don,t try and convict just because some "witness" claims they saw a bunch of people moving around the police car ! I guess in the post 911 America all you have to do is see the possibility of terror in order to make sure that something TERRIBLE does happen ! So keep right on informing on your fellow Americans and see just how violent it will get ...

June 1, 2011 at 7:18 a.m.
WEBMAN said...

Is "proper procedure" the same as MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 1, 2011 at 7:56 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Hey, in this area the rule is shoot first, ask questions later. 8 shots? If the rest of the facts come out negative, such as the shots were in her back, the only justice is for that cop to lose his job and be sued by the family for his actions.

June 1, 2011 at 7:56 a.m.
dave said...

This is a just a one of a long line of over the top police injustices. So what if she cut him? (or are we sure that she cut him at all? perhaps after shooting the distressed and non complaint woman he had to scratch his arm as a cover up?) This stinks! It seems that the Bradley Police have caught the same disease the CPD...No wonder they wish to disarm the citizenry... then we would have NO defense against such brutality. This was wrong! Where was the female officer? Lets see the dash cam video! Lets see some pictures of this horrible life threatening wound this woman inflicted on this poor semi-automatic armed officer. I think she was upset, un-rational and would not comply with his orders. Perhaps she was driven by fear for her children. 6 or 7 gunshots with a high power pistol at close range is deadly force, plus!

June 1, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.
rolando said...

OK, so let's say this "discombobulated" woman gets into the cop car and drives off -- leaving her kids behind along the Interstate, evidently.

What then? She would most definitely "pose a significant threat of death or serious physical injury" to others out there. She had just knifed a cop to get his car so what else would she do to others while wearing and operating 4,000 lbs of cop car, shotgun and all?

June 1, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
LetsBeReal said...

Ok, 1st of all law enforcement in general is NOT interested in disarming the public. Law enforcement tends to fight for our rights in the constitution, and sides with the people to bear arms.

2nd of all, no one needs to be talking about or passing judgement on anything or anyone when they were not there when the situation occurred.

3rdly, if I go towards law enforcement with a weapon of any kind, and it appears that I have intent to harm them or someone else, I fully expect the said law enforcement to elliminate the threat to the best of their ability, and certainly not allow me to get inside the largest, heaviest, most deadly weapon that we have....a hurt others.

Let's be real, guys and enforcement officers are on our (the people's) side. They don't want to hurt anyone. But they are all about removing threats in life threatening situations.

Let's be real...

June 1, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.
Leaf said...

It seems that if the trained response to someone getting into your car is to kill them, then it would make a lot of sense for training to include shutting off your car and pocketing the keys.

June 1, 2011 at 11:45 a.m.
brokentoe said...

@“He was doing what he was trained to do. He reacted according to his training,” Gault said.

Then something is terribly wrong with his training.

If you're in a crisis, these days, the last person one should call for help is a cop. You'll get better and safer results calling a crook. do NOT! DOT NOT! call a cop for help. You're life is placed in grave danger anytime a citizen and member of LE cross paths.

@LetsBeReal, you're joking right? You couldn't possibly believe what you've just posted. Especially when many cops refer to themselves as the hunters and their victims as the prey.

June 1, 2011 at 11:56 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Good post Rolando, what if this person came across an unarmed citizen? She's already displayed a propensity for violence.

"Six of the bullets hit Foster in the left thigh and buttocks..."

-Good grouping!

June 1, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.
rolando said...

"-Good grouping!"


June 1, 2011 at 1:36 p.m.
sweetdream20 said...

This story is so sad. The family could overhear the conversation over the phone and said it was obvious she wasn't 'right'. So something happened between her and the officer. She used the knife. And then she was shot in the back. And he just kept on shooting. She probably saw the car as her only refuge and the only way to get away from the guy trying to kill her. Those poor kids who saw... I can't believe they're just going to shrug this off as standard procedure / training. And I definitely want to know more details about a possible taser and why it wasn't used instead. I have a really hard time justifying what happened there and that there weren't (several) ways to avoid it.

June 1, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
rolando said...

One does not turn off one's car engine when checking out the suspicious, Leaf. Most times the door is either left open or ajar. Quick in and go, you see.

And yes, a woman and two small children walking along an Interstate is suspicious or at least bears checking.

You don't seem to know a whole lot about police training and procedures... Protection is the keyword, for themselves and the general public, usually in that order [but definitely not always].

Those guys are in the front lines of civil unrest. Instant judgment calls are the order of the day...and training will out.

June 1, 2011 at 1:44 p.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

From a previous post: Pop Quiz: Replace poor helpless mom with dew-rag wearing, gold-teeth Jamal and the situation changes....but not the law.

June 1, 2011 at 2:24 p.m.
rolando said...

Tasers sometimes kill and are sometimes ineffective, sweetdream. In which case the cop has "wasted" valuable time and that could kill him or someone else.

Off-hand and without knowing since I wasn't there, I would guesstimate the officer fired through the door hitting her on the left side as she entered the car, which tends to refute the idea she was shot in the back. There could be multiple entry and exit wounds.

Let's not try and hang the officer without any information or evidence of any wrongdoing on his part, huh? Vigilantes, we are not.

June 1, 2011 at 2:43 p.m.
sweetdream20 said...

I'm not trying to 'hang' anyone or jump to conclusions. I question that things couldn't of been done differently with a better outcome, that this was simply stamped 'standard procedure' and that's that... Maybe they could disclose more information that would spread light on what actually happened, why, how and what they want to do to stop that from happening again. I think it's good that the public questions these instances, instead of dismissing it as "doesn't affect me so I don't care" which happens way too often. A woman gets shot and killed by a cop in front of her two kids? Um sorry that the public would like some answers... Maybe try explaining to those 2 kids to their faces why the taser wasn't used in lieu of the gun and see if that explanation still sits right in your stomach. I know I couldn't do it. =(

June 1, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
Legend said...

The only story we have is the one being told from the officer's side. Which really doesn't add up. Threats are usually facing the threatened. If so, how and why was the woman shot in the buttocks and vagina? The shooting appears to have begun with the woman standing. Instinctively, that maybe why she turned to flee.

From reading the story, it sounds like the cop, for whatever reason, starting firing at the woman from a frontal range, hitting her in her vagina, then she turned to flee and was struck in the buttocks?

At what range did the firings seem to come from? Does the weapon seem to be pointing downward as the woman was sitting the the patrol car?

June 1, 2011 at 4:46 p.m.
RTZ said...

why would he use his taser? The police only use those on children all know that. Now a woman with a knife? nahhh....just shoot her. God forbid trying to remember your hand to hand training or the use of a baton.

June 1, 2011 at 7 p.m.
chet123 said...


June 1, 2011 at 9:37 p.m.
bluedagger said...

To the uninformed and ignorant person who said to use a baton or go hands-on, go to Google and type in "use of force continuum" and read away. Think logically here. If someone has already shown they want to kill you by attempting to stab this officer in the back, that is a deadly force threat. The contiuum says deadly force must be met with deadly force. He turned around to unlock his back door to give the woman a ride to the next exit.

As for turning off the car and pocketing the keys, the lights won't work when the car is off. It is a safety factor to have these lights on while on the Interstate.

Can we please let the investigators do their job and then tell us what happened without the ignorant armchair quarterbacks coming on here and pretending they would be better cops with no training than those who have the training? Please?

June 1, 2011 at 10:01 p.m.
RTZ said...

Interestingly enough,I actually was in a similar situation a few years back.I didn't even know the guy who was attacking me. It was obvious that he had mental issues. Even though I was bleeding I was able to disarm him and pin him down to the ground till help arrived. I didn't take it personally....some people have serious issues. You are indeed correct that nobody but the officer knows what happened. It's just awfully hard for people not to question a story where a woman with children is involved. Incidentally bluedaggar....this ignorant guy has two degrees and a six figure income. Goodnight everyone....this dummy is going to bed.

June 1, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.
scoobie said...


June 2, 2011 at 5:03 a.m.
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