UPDATE: Court records show 30-year-old Melody Gray of Milwaukee pleaded not guilty in Clay County court Thursday morning.
Gray pleaded not guilty to felony charges of attempted murder, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of stolen property.
ORIGINAL: Authorities have released the name of the woman who showed a firearm at a Minnesota State trooper and was then shot during an incident earlier this week just east of Moorhead in Cay County.
Authorities say 30-year-old Melody Gray, of Milwaukee was the driver of the vehicle with 29-year-old Domonique Crayton also of Milwaukee in the passenger seat.
Trooper Mark Peterson has been with the Minnesota State Patrol since 1999. He remains on standard administrative leave.
Gray and Crayton were driving westbound on I-94 shortly before 10:30 a.m. Monday when Gray lost control of the vehicle and spun out just east of County Highway 336. The vehicle came to a stop facing east against the median barrier. Trooper Peterson came upon the vehicle in his squad and stopped to assist. When he learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Germantown, Wisconsin, he positioned his squad to prevent the disabled vehicle from driving away. Trooper Peterson then asked Crayton to exit the vehicle.
According to the BCA’s preliminary investigation, as Trooper Peterson attempted to handcuff Crayton, Ms. Gray exited the vehicle and pointed a handgun at the trooper. Trooper Peterson pulled Crayton behind the vehicle, put him to the ground, and then fired at Gray, striking her in the right arm. She fled across north the westbound lanes of I-94 into a field.
A snowplow clearing the westbound lanes stopped approximately 50 yards past the incident scene. Trooper Peterson handcuffed Crayton and left him on his stomach behind the car. The trooper ran to the snowplow and recovered a gun, which was under the plow.
Crayton got back onto his feet just as an off-duty 911 dispatcher came upon the scene. She ordered Crayton back to the ground and prevented him from getting up until the trooper could return.
Gray collapsed in the field. Additional responding officers from the State Patrol, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Moorhead and Dilworth police departments arrived at the scene and secured Gray. They removed her from the field and provided medical attention until the ambulance arrived.
Gray was taken by ambulance to Essentia Health Hospital in Fargo for treatment of a gunshot wound. She remains hospitalized. Charges against Gray related to the incident are pending with the Clay County Attorney’s Office.
Crayton was charged earlier today in Clay County District Court with felony damage to property, receiving stolen property, and other charges. He is in the Clay County Jail.
Both Gray and Crayton have outstanding warrants out of Milwaukee for kidnapping and other felony charges.
Trooper Peterson was not injured. The shooting incident was captured on squad video. There is no body camera video of the incident.
This remains an active and ongoing investigation. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings to the Clay County Attorney’s Office for review.