SEATTLE — Seattle police are investigating the fatal shooting of a woman by two officers who responded to a burglary report at her apartment.
Police say the officers went to the apartment of 30-year-old Charleena Lyles Sunday morning, and, at some point, were confronted by Lyles armed with a knife. Both officers fired their weapons, killing her.
Lyles was a mother of four, one of her children has down syndrome, said her family. Her children were reportedly present at the time of the shooting. Police say the children were not injured.
Relatives told The Seattle Times that the woman was three months pregnant and had mental health issues.
They said she was too “tiny” for officers to have felt threatened by her, even with a knife, reported the Washington Post.
“Why couldn’t they have Tased her?” Lyles’s sister, Monika Williams, told the Seattle Times. “They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.”
Police on Monday released audio of the officers discussing a previous encounter with the woman before they reached the apartment. The woman can be heard telling the officers the door was unlocked. Toward the end, the officers could be heard yelling “get back” and “we need help” and then gunfire erupted.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in a statement Sunday called the shooting a tragedy.