Woman shot by a Gastonia police officer shares her side of events, pursues lawsuit against department

Family calls for officer to be fired

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - The man arrested in an officer involved shooting in Gaston County has been given a bond of $50,000. Meanwhile, his family and supporters are demanding the officer who fired shots at a woman on scene be terminated.

The family of shooting victim Brittany Lynn say they are taking it one day at a time and that the situation has been hard to cope with because not only was Lynn seriously hurt, but kids were in the house during the shooting and saw everything.

They also say Lynn had her hands up and yelled for officers not to shoot and that her brother, Jarvis Lynn, who police accused of shooting at officers, never had a gun. Now the family is filing a lawsuit against the police department.

The officer in question for shooting Brittany Lynn is Stephen Whisnant. Whisnant has been with the Gastonia police department since September and was immediately placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting.  
John Barnett, the Lynn family's spokesperson, said the officer failed to handle a call that was originally for noise disturbance properly.

Officials say the incident started when police showed up to a home on South Grey Street for a noise disturbance call. Some neighbors told WBTV's Bria Bell someone was playing loud music at the end of the block, but what led police to target the home is still in question.

Officers say when they arrived Jarvis Lynn, who is a convicted felon for previous drug charges, started shooting at them and they fired back hitting Brittany in the process.

Jarvis was arrested and appeared in court on Tuesday as he had outstanding warrants for assault. His family was there to show support.

Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell has described the shooting as an "accident" and said that Brittany was not the intended target. Barnett believes race played a role in how things unfolded.

"Gastonia you're making me sick....you need more diversity on your police force," Barnett said.

Jarvis Lynn will be back in front of a judge at the end of this month. His family, including Brittany, plans to be in court during that session as well.

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