The incident began just after 6:30 a.m. when the Highway Patrol and Johnston County Sheriff's Office were alerted to a single-vehicle crash in the westbound lanes just east of Benson.
"I think I saw that vehicle pass me going probably 120 miles an hour a ways back," a caller reported.
The callers reported that the SUV was wrecked on the shoulder.
One stopped and spoke with the woman driving while on the phone with the 911 operator. He reported she told him she wanted to kill herself.
911 Caller: "You don't want do that. She's got a gun." 911 Dispatcher: "She's got a gun?" 911 Caller: "I'm getting out of here."
911 Caller: "I'm gone. She's gotta gun. She's sticking it in the back of her pants. She's got a pair of handcuffs sticking out of the back of her pants. She's got a gun! She's got a gun! She's laying on the ground right now. I took off. I'm gone."
The first officers on the scene found 50-year-old Tina Medlin lying on the highway with the gun. They said she fired at them and they returned fire.
"Shots fired! Shots fired!" an officer is heard yelling in recorded radio traffic.
The officers were later identified as trooper J.L Taylor and Johnston County Deputy Taylor Davis.
Medlin was taken to WakeMed. The Highway Patrol first said she had passed away, but later Saturday said she is in critical condition.
Medlin's mother has declined to speak on camera, but told ABC11 Monday that "hundreds have called with their love, support, and prayers for Tina."
The Johnston County Sheriff's Office and the Highway Patrol said Trooper Taylor and Deputy Davis have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard in officer-involved shootings.
Trooper Taylor was featured in an ABC11 story in 2015 when he escorted a group of children around a fire scene.
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The State Bureau of Investigation is asking for any witnesses to call them at 1 (800) 334-3000.