Phoenix police say veteran officer shot, killed mentally ill woman

PHOENIX Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:23pm EDT

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - A mentally ill woman was shot and killed by a Phoenix police sergeant at an apartment complex in the city after she threatened officers with a claw hammer, police officials said on Friday.

Michelle Cusseaux, 50, was killed on Thursday by a single gunshot at the threshold of her apartment as officers were attempting to serve an emergency court order to take her to a mental health facility, Phoenix police spokesman Sergeant Tommy Thompson said.

Officers came face-to-face with a hammer-wielding Cusseaux when she opened the front door just as officers were able to get through a security door, Thompson said. He said she then raised the hammer and went at the officers.

Cusseaux was shot by a Phoenix police sergeant at close range and was pronounced dead later at a local hospital, he said.

The sergeant, whose name was not immediately released, was put on administrative leave as part of department policy. He is a 19-year Phoenix police veteran.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jim Loney)

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Comments (2)
Speakerbliss wrote:
Judge – Jury – Executor so wrong police kill so fast and so easy, so much for to protect and serve. Its more important to protect civilians, then kill them, especially when there are non-lethal options.

Aug 15, 2014 4:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ElizabethAZ wrote:
We need the Department of Health Services, Mercy Maricopa and the police to work together. Unfortunately ,there are incidents in which the police will need to be involved and if they are they should never be alone. I believe we need a Critical Crisis Unit that consist of Mental Health Trained Specialist, Police Officers CIT Trained and Medically Trained Personnel. In Pima county all of their officers are trained in CIT (Crisis Intervention) plus if you call into the crisis hotline you also are connected to the police so both agencies are aware of the situation and can better address the issues. We also need to hold are mental health providers accountable as well. Case teams need to be trained in what to do in a Crisis situation, prevention before crisis , health care not prison.

Aug 17, 2014 3:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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