Pennsylvania Mother Of 4 Wanted On Felony Warrants Shot Dead By Police In Tennessee

A Pennsylvania woman wanted on a felony warrants was shot dead after a police chase along a highway in Tennessee, according to authorities.

Katelyn Harris with three of her children.

Katelyn Harris with three of her children.

Photo Credit: Facebook- Denise Temple

Her family and friends, however, are casting doubt on that version of events.

Katelyn Lee Harris (also known as Katelyn Lee McColl Honaker), 29, previously of Lancaster and Chester counties, was shot and killed by Sullivan County police on Sunday around 10 p.m.

Sullivan County deputies spotted Harris on John B. Dennis Highway in Kingsport, according to police reports.

The police knew she was wanted on outstanding felony warrants, so a traffic stop was attempted. A pursuit ensued onto Interstate 81 in Greene County.

At Exit 44, Harris turned north on Jearoldstown Road then drove off the road and let a passenger out of the vehicle, authorities said.

Police apprehended the passenger and noticed Harris had a gun.

While ordering her to drop the weapon, she reportedly put the vehicle in reverse and accelerated toward deputies.

At this time three deputies fired shots, striking Harris-- she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Harris previously had pleaded guilty at Sullivan County Circuit Court to possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal impersonation in connection with offenses committed in November 2019 in Sullivan County, according to court documents.

She was wanted by authorities on felony charges including two counts of evading arrest-flight by vehicle.

Harris was to have a hearing Aug. 10 in a Sullivan County court, but it is unclear if she attended.

Harris’ family and friends do not believe the story and order of events the police have released.

They say the passenger was her boyfriend.

It's unclear how the unidentified boyfriend was able to remain unharmed during the shooting.

Denise Temple, 48, of Quarryville, was questioned by police early Monday morning.

She answered the questions they asked but the police refused to answer one key question she had, was Harris holding the gun in her hand at the time she was shot.

No matter the answer, Temple believes officers went too far.

“You could have shot her in the arm or shot her in the leg and put her in the hospital,” she said on social media and to various news outlets. “You didn’t have to kill her.”

Harris’ was a mother of four children, ages 14, 11, 9 and 6.

Friends and family were unaware Harris had recently pleaded guilty to a crime or that any warrants were out against her. They believed her legal troubles were behind her and were completely surprised by TBI saying she was a wanted person.

Harris had served 23 months in jail and one year probation after pleading guilty to felony for a Drug Delivery Resulting In Death in Chester County in 2019.

Harris had been living in Tennessee since her release.

Harris attended Solanco High School and obtained a GED in either 2009 or 2010, according to her social media. She enjoyed art and music and loved her family.

She is survived by her mother, boyfriend, four children, her extended family and many friends.

Harris's remains are currently in Tennessee as part of the investigation. Once they are released the family plans to have them transported to Pennsylvania.

The family has launched a GoFundMe campaign page to try to mitigate the costs. As of Thursday evening they had raised just over $800 of the $10,000 goal.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agents continue to investigate this shooting death and "looking into the circumstances that lead up to (it)."

Whether the actions of the officers shooting her were justified will be determined by the 3rd District Attorney General Dan Armstrong.

If you want to donate to the family's GoFundMe you can do so here.

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