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FEATURE NEWS

Seattle woman shot and killed by police
June 19, 2017




File photo
Chronicle staff

(SEATTLE, WA.) -- It was unclear, even with two police statements issued Sunday and then early Monday morning, exactly why the woman died Sunday morning in a hail of police bullets.

Her body dropped only feet away from where her children were inside the apartment, according to police.

Seattle Police issued the first statement on the shooting just after 3 pm Sunday saying detectives were investigating "surrounding the circumstances of a fatal officer involved shooting Sunday morning in the Sand Point neighborhood."

Police say that shortly before 10 am Sunday two North Precinct patrol officers responded to a report of a waiting burglary call in an apartment building in the 6800 block of 62nd Avenue NE.

"Although this was a typical burglary report, two officers were required due to information pertaining to this address that presented an increased risk to officers," said the SPD statement.

The officers arrived and went to the fourth floor "to meet with the complainant," said the SPD statement and there the officers were "confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed with a knife."

Then, with no statement explaining what was said between the officers and the woman or what that woman had done with the knife - did she just stand there with it...did she charge the officers? -- the statement simply says, "Both officers fired their duty weapons, striking the woman."

The SPD statement said "both officers were equipped with less lethal force options, per department policy. All Seattle police officers receive Crisis Intervention Training."

One broadcast TV report said " both officers opened fire and she was hit multiple times. Officers attempted CPR but they were unable to revive her."

Police said there were several children inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, but they were not injured. They are being cared for by other family members at this time.

Police did not identify the woman who died but a report by KOMO-TV said the woman's sister identified her as Charleena Lyles and that Ms. Lyles was reportedly trying to "get help for some mental health issues," said her sister Monika Williams.

Charleena, according to her sister had just been released from jail on Wednesday.

The TV station report, quoting investigators, said officers arrested Lyles in early June on several charges, including obstruction and harassment, in connection with another incident at her home.

The Seattle Times quoted family members as saying Charleena was several months pregnant, had been struggling with mental-health issues for the past year and was concerned authorities would take her children, one of whom they said has Down syndrome.

The officers who did the shooting performed first aid while the Seattle Fire Department responded, but the fire department declared the woman deceased once they arrived, according to police.

The KOMO-TV report quoted Lyles' brother, Domico Jones, as saying he felt that "officers didn't have to use lethal force," on his sister.

In accordance with SPD policy designed in collaboration with the Department of Justice, detectives from the Force Investigation Team (FIT) and SPD Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) responded to the scene, along with representatives from the Office of Professional Accountability, to collect evidence and review the incident.

Police said FIT detectives will investigate the force used by both police officers. CSI detectives will support the investigation by processing the scene for forensic evidence.

Both officers who fired their duty weapons and killed the woman will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, in accordance with department protocol.

Police said the information the department released was preliminary and "some details may change as detectives review the evidence and process the scene."








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