Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cottonwood police shoot, kill suicidal woman

Cottonwood police shot and killed an armed 60-year-old woman who was threatening suicide on the sidewalk of a main thoroughfare Saturday.

Police spokesman Sgt. Gareth Braxton said that around 3:45 p.m., authorities responded to the Camelot RV Park near Main and 10th streets to calls of a woman threatening to commit suicide.

A witness said they saw a woman voicing such threats while carrying a handgun.

They located the woman, who lived in the RV park, armed with two handguns and threatening suicide.

Police made contact with the woman as she walked down Main Street and failed twice to apprehend her with Tasers, Braxton said.

An officer then used a rifle to shoot the woman as she drew her weapon. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety Shooting Reconstruction Team assisted the criminal investigation and the officer has been placed on administrative leave, which is a common practice following an officer-involved shooting, Braxton said.

A criminal investigation of the officer's actions will be followed by a second investigation to look into whether his actions were within the bounds of the department's policies.

"Obviously, we need to gather all of the facts and make sure we have a complete story as to how the events unfolded, in order to avoid speculation," Braxton said in a written statement. "You can expect a meticulous investigation to occur as you would with any situation such as this."

Police will release the name of the woman on Monday once her family has been notified.

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