NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A self-defense claim is under investigation after a pregnant woman was shot in a Walgreens parking lot, forcing doctors to perform an emergency cesarean section and deliver her premature baby.

According to Metro police, the shooting happened at around 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Walgreens in the 2500 block of Gallatin Avenue in East Nashville.

Police said a Walgreens employee was notified by another employee that two women were stealing items from the store. The employee told police he saw the women putting items into a store cart and into a large over-the-shoulder bag. The employee said he began recording the women with his cell phone and followed them as they left the store without paying for the items.

According to investigators, the employee said as the women began putting items into the trunk of their car, he made his way to the back of the car. That’s when one of the women reportedly pulled a can of mace and began spraying at him.

The employee then pulled his semi-automatic pistol and began shooting, saying he was afraid and did not know if either of the women were armed. The women then fled in their car while the employee went back into the store and called 911, according to police.

Investigators said one of the suspected shoplifters, a 34-year-old woman, was seven months pregnant and had been shot multiple times by the employee. The woman she was with dropped her off at General Hospital and drove away. An ambulance then took her to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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An emergency C-Section was performed at VUMC. The woman’s child, who was not injured by the gunfire, was delivered. Both the woman and her baby are in critical but stable condition.

The investigation remains ongoing.