It happened around 5 a.m. Thursday at a Motel 6 at 3520 Maitland Drive near New Bern Avenue.
According to the Raleigh Police Department, officers were called to the motel about a disturbance.
"There is some crazy lady out here screaming and hollering and I don't know what's going on I'm in the office and I don't have no security," a caller told a 911 operator.
A short time later, three officers arrived on the scene at virtually the same time and confronted the woman just a few yards away from the motel.
Authorities say the woman was yelling, threatening and charging at officers just before they fired their weapons.
The woman was hit by the gunfire and taken to WakeMed in critical condition.
At a news conference late Thursday afternoon, Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said the woman was unarmed. He said multiple shots were fired, but would not give an exact number.
"As the first officer began to approach the subject, she made statements and gestures threatening the life of the officers which was immediately followed by her charging the officers," Dolan said. "Multiple shots were fired by the officers and the subject was struck."
The night manager at the Motel 6 tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that the woman, who had checked in the night before with a small child, seemed upset.
"All I know is she was hysterical, very hysterical and very loud," manager Andre Orellano said.
A short time after the shooting, other officers went to the woman's room on the second floor and brought out the child, who appeared to be a toddler.
The child is now in the custody of social services.
Authorities are not releasing the name of the woman or the officers involved at this time.
Further details about the incident have not been released.