CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Charlotte business owner says an out-of-control customer went on a rampage inside his store, just moments before CMPD said she tried to repeatedly run over an officer with her vehicle.
The business owner said the woman even tried to come back inside the store, armed with a gun.
The store owner, Paul Ra, told FOX 46 that he feared for his life and said he needed to hurry up and get the woman out of his store because she seemed unpredictable.
Video captured from inside the business shows the mess left behind at the entrance to EC Beauty Supply located at 1237 Tyvola Drive. The owner said the woman, who has been identified as Raynique Austin, 23, went ‘hysterical’ Thursday afternoon as he describes it, and started knocking things over after he tried to help her open a case of earrings.
The owner told Austin to leave the store. She did but not before first announcing she had a gun in her car.
“I saw she had a gun and she was trying to load it up and she shot it up in the air trying to intimidate me and so I held the door,” Ra said to FOX 46. “We were struggling and she was trying to get in, I was holding the door closed until we were able to lock it up.”
Ra said the woman shot at the door and then tried to shoot one of his surveillance cameras. Shortly after that, CMPD Officer Dustin Smith arrived on his patrol dirt bike. CMPD said Austin tried to run the officer over with her vehicle, and he feared for his life, firing his weapon at Austin.
Austin then sped away from the crime scene, and CMPD caught up with her down the road. Austin is facing a number of charges including attempted murder once she is released from the hospital.
Officer Smith is on administrative leave and the SBI continues to investigate this case.