Woman was wanted on drug, probation charges

A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officer walks past the vehicle involved in a police shooting Wednesday in West Ashley.

Brad Nettles

A woman who was shot by a Charleston Police officer after she reportedly tried to run him over Wednesday was wanted on charges of fraudulently obtaining drugs and violating probation.

The State Law Enforcement Division on Thursday identified the woman as Jacquelyn Stewart, 26, of North Charleston. Stewart is in the hospital and has not been charged in the shooting. Charges are pending, said Jennifer Timmons, SLED public information officer.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on July 30 issued two warrants out for Stewart's arrest, charging her with two counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, according to Thom Berry, spokesman. Berry said Stewart is accused of attempting to obtain hydrocodone, a pain killer, from several Lowcountry pharmacies.

A drug control agent served the warrants Wednesday night, Berry said.

Stewart was also wanted by the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon services for violating probation on a 2005 conviction for crime against a federal chartered financial institution, a spokeswoman said.

Stewart also had a bench warrant issued for her arrest in Dorchester County, according to Maj. John Garrison with the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office.

A Charleston Police department incident report released Thursday morning offers new details about the events that preceded the shooting.

According to the report:

A plainclothes officer in an unmarked car saw the woman leaving the T.J. Maxx department store in the Westwood Plaza Shopping Center at 1:48 p.m. The officer noticed the woman met the description of a suspect wanted by DHEC.

The officer told dispatchers that she was getting into a gray, Chevrolet SUV and requested another unit because he had a family member in the car with him. The officer followed the SUV at a safe distance but she apparently noticed him anyway because she tried to maneuver away from the patrol car in a bank parking lot on Belgrade Avenue.

After a short game of cat-and-mouse, the suspect eventually pulled up near the officer's car. The officer identified himself and told her to pull over and wait for another police officer. When she asked why, the officer told her that they needed to speak with her. She said, "OK" and then drove off.

While the officer turned his car around, he watched as the SUV turned onto Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and then Gardner Avenue, where it came to a dead end. The officer saw the woman walk away from the SUV and then re-enter the vehicle. The driver then drove "erratically" back toward Sam Rittenberg.

The officer reported that the woman weaved through traffic on Sam Rittenberg as she approached the intersection with Ashley River Road.

She came to a stop at the intersection, apparently stuck at the traffic light. The officer stopped his car in the far right lane next to the Circle K gas station when the marked police cruiser approached the intersection.

According to police and witnesses, the uniformed officer tried to get her to stop but she turned hard toward the officer and wrecked into multiple vehicles while trying to flee. The officer fired multiple shots, hitting the woman at least once.

Stewart has a lengthy rap sheet. She was convicted of petty larceny in 2003, two convictions for crimes against a federal chartered financial institution in 2005 and a conviction for financial identity fraud in 2005, according to a SLED background check. She also has multiple arrests for writing fraudulent checks, but it's not clear whether she was convicted on those charges.

She was last arrested in April when North Charleston Police charged her with two counts each of having an uninsured motor vehicle and giving false information. Those charges are still pending.