LAKEWOOD - A 47-year-old woman who yelled "Shoot me, shoot me" at Lakewood police was shot to death Monday after she raised a gun when confronted by three officers.
“It seems like a suicide by cop,” police spokesman Lt. Chris Lawler said.
Police identified her as Carolyn Moran-Hernandez.
She was shot about 9:30 a.m. at her home at the Francis Court Mobile Home Park in the 3200 block of 83rd Street South.
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Lawler gave this account:
Police were called after the woman’s 45-year-old domestic partner ran from the home and called 911. She told dispatchers that Moran-Hernandez had punched her in the face during an argument and that she still was in the house and had a knife.
Officers surrounded the house, and Moran-Hernandez came out on the porch. She wasn’t carrying a weapon and yelled at police to “shoot me, shoot me.”
The officers tried to calm the woman, but she mumbled something about getting something from inside the house. She went into the house and returned with a handgun.
Officers yelled at her to put the gun down, but she yelled “No,” raised the weapon and was shot by three officers. Police fired nine rounds.
Lakewood Fire Department medics treated the woman, but she died at the scene about 10 a.m.
A next-door neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was sleeping and heard voices outside her window. She looked out and saw police officers. She couldn’t see the victim but heard someone yell to put the gun down.
“I saw the cops fire the shots,” she said.
The victim’s 27-year-old daughter was inside the house at the time of the shooting.
Under department policy, the three officers who fired will be placed on paid administrative leave. One of the officers is a sergeant with 24 years of law enforcement experience. A second officer has 16 years of experience, and the third officer has 11 years of experience. All three have been with the department since it formed in 2004.
Police say the weapon Moran-Hernandez pointed at officers is a Crosman .177-caliber BB pistol that looks very similar to a handgun.
“Officers have only a split second to analyze the threat when a weapon is pointed at them, and these types of weapons make it extremely difficult to assess that threat based on their realism,” Lawler wrote in a news release.
The women had been together as domestic partners for 10 to 12 years, Lawler said.
A check of police records showed police had gone to the women’s home on related calls, he said.
On March 10, 2009, officers were there for a domestic disturbance; no one was arrested. On Sept. 3, 2010, police responded to what appeared to be an attempted suicidal drug overdose by Moran-Hernandez, he said.
Mike Archbold: 253-597-8692 firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff writer Stacia Glenn contributed to this report.