BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Interstate-40 East was closed for several hours in Burke County Tuesday following an armed kidnapping and shooting involving an NC State trooper.

The ordeal began around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20. NC State Highway Patrol said they were first alerted to several hit-and-run accidents between McDowell and Burke counties.

Highway Patrol said a report of an ‘armed kidnapping’ on I-40 East came in, where it was said that an armed woman was in the back of someone’s truck on the interstate.

Sergeant Aaron Johnson responded to I-40 East in the area of mile marker 114 and came across the truck on the shoulder of the interstate, with the armed woman in the bed of the truck.

The armed woman fired several shots at Sgt. Johnson, NC State Highway Patrol said, and Johnson returned fire, striking the woman.

Once the crime scene was secured, aid was given to the woman at the scene, and she was taken to an area hospital where she is listed in stable condition, Highway Patrol said.

Sgt. Johnson was not injured during the shooting. NC State Highway Patrol is still working to identify the woman involved in the shooting.

Sgt. Johnson is a 19-year veteran with Troop F, District 1 in Burke County. He has been placed on administrative leave, per protocol.

The SBI has taken over this investigation while State Highway Patrol continues to investigate the woman’s actions. Charges are forthcoming, they said.