She Holds Gun to Son's Head During Standoff with Police
The Associated Press
SMITHVILLE, Tenn. - A woman who escaped from a Tennessee county jail
and fled in a stolen police car grinned Friday as she put a gun to
her 3-year-old son's head when the cops surrounded her.
Karen Lynn Lovell, who kidnapped the boy from his legal guardian
after escaping from the DeKalb County jail, was shot and seriously
injured by a deputy as she held the child, police said.
Minutes earlier, surrounded by the cops, she had held her son in her
arms and put her gun to his head, threatening to shoot unless police
backed off. Television news crews from Nashville (search) videotaped
The child wasn't injured, but television footage showed him crying
and with blood on his face as a law enforcement officer carried him
from the scene. The deputy also was not injured.
Authorities said Lovell was shot once and sent to Erlanger Medical
Center in Chattanooga.
"The child is safe and that's absolutely the No. 1 thing," a visibly
upset Sheriff Lloyd Emmons said. "Unfortunately, she engaged my
deputy with the handgun, and she was shot. She is still alive and she
is going to Erlanger by air ambulance. We certainly hope she'll be
According to DeKalb authorities, the incident began late Thursday
when Lovell faked a seizure and was taken from the jail to a local
As she was brought back to the jail about 1 a.m. Friday, she managed
to slip away from deputies and stole a patrol car, sheriff's
dispatcher Janice Higham said.
She then went to the home of her sister, who has legal custody of
Lovell's child, and took the boy at gunpoint, officials said.
A deputy set up a roadblock nearby, but Lovell charged through it,
striking and slightly injuring him.
"She hit one of our officers with the vehicle, then she wrecked the
vehicle," Higham said.
Lovell, who was serving a jail sentence for harassment and stalking,
took off on foot with the boy.
Lovell was found by authorities outside a home just down the street
from where she abducted her son.
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The deputy who fired the shot was not identified but reports
described him as upset and crying after the incident.