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Coroner: Woman shot in confrontation with Huntsville police has died

Officers responded to a call of an armed woman waving a gun at her neighbors at Stadium Apartments, near Milton Frank Stadium, about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Posted: May 30, 2019 9:53 AM
Updated: May 31, 2019 11:05 AM

UPDATE: The Madison County Coroner says the woman who was shot Thursday morning has died.

Huntsville police have identified Crystal Danielle Ragland, 32, as the woman involved in the confrontation.

Crystal Ragland; Photo from Facebook

Photo courtesy of Deseree Montgomery

Police say two officers are on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated. Right now, they said that investigation could take weeks to complete.

Investigators were at the scene where the shooting happened for about 5 hours on Thursday. The sliding glass door is shattered and multiple evidence markers are on the ground. Police said Ragland exited her apartment from the glass door when officers were knocking on her front door. 

Deseree Montgomery said she was sleeping inside her friend's apartment at Stadium Apartments when the shooting happened. 

"I was asleep in the bed and I heard several gunshots going off. It woke me up out of my sleep, so I jumped up and ran to the bedroom window," Montgomery said.

Police said Ragland had a gun when officers had a verbal exchange with her. Officers asked Ragland to put the gun down, but said she was not cooperating with their commands.

"We're not going to sit here and assume what she was thinking. We'll just let the evidence play out, but when they knocked on the front door, she came out a different door," said Lt. Michael Johnson with Huntsville police.

Montgomery said she talked with police about what led up Ragland being shot. 

"I asked the other police, 'Why did they shoot the woman?' They said the woman had a gun," Montgomery said.

Huntsville police said Ragland had contact with officers prior to Thursday, but said those calls were not at this apartment complex. They said they couldn't share what they were about.

Huntsville police said the shooting will be reviewed by the department's incident review board in the coming weeks. The board will consist of members from the Madison County District Attorney's Office, City of Huntsville Attorney's Office, Huntsville police training and command staff and the Huntsville Police Department Citizen Advisory Council.

Lt. Michael Johnson said two body cameras and two car cameras from each officer will be reviewed by the board. In a past review, the board took video footage, physical evidence and officer testimony into consideration while making a decision.

When asked, Lt. Johnson would not confirm if Crystal Ragland, the victim in Thursday's shooting, had a history of mental illness. He acknowledged the department's officers are trained on how to deal with people with mental illness but said things change if there's a weapon.

"Once weapons are involved, we can't guess at what the person is going to do or if they're going to stop what they're doing. Crisis intervention is about a crisis, but, like I said, when weapons get involved it's a little bit more difficult for both the officers and the individual involved," Lt. Johnson said.

Lt. Johnson said the department takes Thursday's events seriously.

"We want everyone to think that this is a safe area, to give us a call anytime someone has a weapon like this. We're very thankful nobody else was hurt," Lt. Johnson said.

Lt. Johnson said the department will share the results of the incident review board once available.

From earlier:

The Huntsville Police Department is responding to a shooting at an apartment complex off Westheimer Drive.

Officers responded to a call of an armed woman waving a gun at her neighbors at Stadium Apartments, near Milton Frank Stadium, about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

When officers arrived, there was a confrontation between officers and the female and there was gunfire by at least one officer, according to Huntsville police.

The woman was shot and has been taken to Huntsville Hospital with serious injuries.

Investigators are on scene talking to witnesses.

Stay with WAAY 31 on air and WAAYTV.com online for updates

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