INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. -- A female robbery suspect was shot shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Sun Valley Commons shopping center in Indian Trail after she pointed a weapon at deputies, according to Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey.
Wednesday afternoon, the family of 28-year-old Christina Michailidis, said she has been taken off life support and "we have said our goodbyes."
The family also said Michailidis did not have a gun.
"It was a BB gun," said her brother, Herbert Long. "They didn't have to do this to her."
Cathey said deputies had no choice but to fire on Michailidis because they believe she was holding a real gun.
"You've got a pharmacist who said she had a gun and that's what my deputies knew and she pointed it at them and they didn't know it was a BB," Cathey said.
Cathey said Michailidis is the only suspect in an armed robbery of the Walgreen’s on Weddington Road in Wesley Chapel Tuesday evening.
Employees at the Walgreen's called 911 and told police that a woman entered the store a few minutes after 7 p.m., showed them what appeared to be a handgun, and ordered the staff to give her specific narcotic drugs.
She left the store and about an hour later deputies received information that she was in the area of Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road and Old Charlotte Highway, driving a gray Hyundai Sonata.
"She called my mother and told her everything," said Doris Stanley, "including that she used a BB gun. She had been under a lot of stress."
Michailidis' brother and sister said Michailidis was suicidal and had planned to take the drugs and park "somewhere and die."
"When my sister hung up we immediately called 911 and told them she was suicidal and used a BB gun, and we told them not to kill her," said Stanley.
Deputies spotted the Sonata in the parking lot of the Sun Valley Commons shopping center and they walked up to the vehicle. The woman was in the car alone. The sheriff says she got out of the car and pointed a weapon at one of the officers.
Police fired several shots at Michailidis, hitting her at least twice.
"She was hit once in the arm and in the head," said Stanley.
Michailidis was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The deputies involved in the incident were not injured.
Because this is an officer-involved shooting, the State Bureau of Investigation will investigate the incident, which is standard procedure for most law enforcement agencies in North Carolina.
The identities of the officers involved have not been released. Cathey said that the officers are off
Wednesday and they will evaluate the shooting, but at this time they are not on administrative leave.
"Any time an officer is forced to use his weapon is a very serious situation," said Cathey.