SACRAMENTO -- Twenty-six-year-old Brittney Nicholls told FOX40 that when a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy shot at her car three times she was trying to run from him and not trying to run him over.
"I didn't want to go to jail. I didn't want to lose my car. I just started my life over. I have nothing,” Nicholls said in an interview from the Sacramento County Jail.
Nicholls has a previous, but recent, arrest record. In the past few years she’s entered “no contest” pleas to felony possession of methamphetamine and a felony charge related to joy-riding.
She wasn't alone in her car Saturday morning when, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department press release, "she put the car in drive and accelerated while the deputy was hanging on."
"It's not like he was in front of my car,” Nicholls said.
And she disputes that he was ever dragged by her vehicle.
The sheriff's department would not specify Sunday how many shots were fired into the car carrying Nicholls and her passengers. But she says there were at least three, and she says at least one was nearly fatal.
"It was right by my head,” Nicholls said of a round that shattered her rear window, traveled through the car and damaged her front window as well.
The sheriff's department press release goes on to say "The deputy unholstered his firearm, and in the process of disengaging from the speeding car, discharged his firearm at [the] suspect."
The 13-year-veteran deputy is now on administrative leave. That’s standard when an officer fires a weapon at a suspect.
Nicholls says their interaction was fraught, right from the beginning
“He made some comment like, 'Oh. I'm the ---hole cop.' You know what I mean? And I was like, 'no. I'm not saying you're an ---hole,’” she recounted.
The officer had told her to get out of her car while she says the other two passengers were still inside.
It's unclear whether he meant to search them or Nicholls' Mercedes.
"I don't own a gun. I've never owned a gun,” Nicholls said. She also denied having any drugs in the car.
Now she's facing charges for resisting arrest, probation violation and assault with a deadly weapon.