On Sunday morning, Seattle police officers fatally shot a 30-year-old Black woman, a mother of four, at her apartment, where “several children” were present.
According to the Seattle Times, the woman, Charleena Lyles, had a history of mental health problems and was known to police, which is why, when she called police to report a possible burglary, the report flagged “hazard information” that “presented an increased risk to officers,” according to Detective Mark Jamieson.
Police said that when they arrived at her apartment, Lyles had a knife. Both officers who responded to the call fired their weapons, and although they performed CPR on Lyles, she was declared dead at the scene by fire department officials.
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 shooting is now under investigation to determine whether the use of force was justified. Police are also trying to determine whether the children who were present in the apartment at the time witnessed the shooting. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave.
Lyles’s sister, Monika Williams, told the Seattle Times that her sister, who was three months pregnant with her fifth child, was not big enough to be a threat to officers.
“Why couldn’t they have Tased her?” she asked. “They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.”
Lhora Murray, who lives directly below Lyles, said that she heard the gunshots on Sunday morning and that police handed her two of Lyles’ children: a 10-year-old and a toddler.
“They shot my mom,” the 10-year-old said, according to Murray.
Late Sunday, around a hundred people gathered for a vigil in Lyles’ honor in which they spelled her name out with candles.