DETROIT (AP) — A woman who allegedly assaulted her young son and mother was fatally shot in a Detroit home as she struggled with an officer over a gun, the city’s police chief said Friday. the city.
Chief James White told reporters the woman appeared to have suffered a mental health crisis and was in the West Side house with two young children on Thursday evening when officers rushed in.
An officer was heard shouting, “’Don’t grab that gun, don’t grab that gun. Gun, gun, gun,” White said. “Then there is a struggle and then you hear the gunshots.”
Police recovered a gun, but White said the woman did not fire any shots. As she struggled with an officer, four shots were fired by three other officers.
She later died. His name and age were not immediately revealed.
The woman’s mother called 911 twice around 6:20 p.m. Thursday and said her daughter had hit her grandson, was armed with a knife and a bat and had access to a gun, said White.
“She further reported that she was hit in the head by her daughter and may have to kill her own daughter,” he added.
She also said her daughter suffered from schizophrenia.
The mother and her own mother were able to flee the house, but her daughter and two children, aged 7 and 1, were still inside. At one point, her daughter, dressed only in her underwear, came out with a gun before retreating inside the house, White said.
Officers arrived and surrounded the house as an emergency response worker began to negotiate with the woman inside, inquiring about the children. Officers rushed when the woman opened the door.
White said the situation was “less about her mental state” and “more about the kids and their safety.”
Investigators were trying to understand “what prompted the officers’ decision to enter, whether it is part of our policy and whether the policy of lethal force was applied”, he said, adding that the images of the officers’ body cameras were being examined.
The fatal shooting was the second by Detroit police in just over a month involving a person with apparent mental illness.
Porter Burks, a black man, was killed on October 2 as he sprinted – armed with a knife – towards officers. Burks’ brother had previously called police, who said Burks suffered from schizophrenia.
Burks’ death was recorded by police body cameras as officers begged him to drop a knife he was carrying.
An attorney representing the Burks family filed a $50 million lawsuit earlier this month against the city.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges gross negligence and assault by officers, among others.
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