Seattle police fatally shot a 30-year-old mother who called them to her apartment for help. The victim dialed 911 to report an attempted burglary Sunday (June 18) morning when she was gunned down while her children were in the unit.
According a Seattle police spokesperson Mark Jamieson, two officers responded to the call because of concerns over a previous emergency call to the house.
After arriving to the apartment at around 10: 00 a.m., cops claim the woman “confronted” them with a knife. The department confirmed that both officers were white.
“At some point the 30-year-old female was armed with a knife,” Jamieson told reporters. “Both officers had to fire their service weapons striking the individual.
“Unfortunately it is a fatality,” Jamieson continued. “Officers immediately performed first aid until the fire department arrived, but the fire department declared her deceased at the scene.”
The children were “unharmed” in the incident, and are in the care of loved ones. Family members say the children were two boys and a girl ages 11, 4, and 1.
Authorities are still trying to determine if they witnessed the shooting, Jamieson said.
“As you can imagine, this is going to be a very thorough investigation,” he added.
Seattle Police Det. Mark Jamieson says a woman was shot multiple times by 2 responding officers to burglary call, kids in apartment at time pic.twitter.com/yUErx5WI6N
— Bettina Hansen (@bettinahansen) June 18, 2017
The woman, identified by family members as Charleena Lyles, is said to have battled mental illness over the last year and previously feared that her children, one of whom had Down Syndrome, would be taken away.
“She was not a person you would fear or feel intimidated by,” Lyles’ brother Domico Jones said.
Charleena Lyles, 30yo woman who was fatally shot by SPD today. Photo shared with permission from family pic.twitter.com/zHr3DV8mqM
— Steven Hsieh (@stevenjhsieh) June 18, 2017
Monika Williams, Lyles sister, told reporters that her there was “no reason” for her sister to be “shot in front of her babies.” Williams also revealed that Lyles was pregnant.
“Even if my sister had a knife in her hand, she weighs like nothing, even if she’s soaking wet,” Williams said. “There’s no way you could’ve taken a taser and taken her down? There’s no way you could’ve taken a baton and knocked the knife out of her hand?”
The officers involved in the incident are expected to be placed on administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation.