Police in Seattle shot and killed a 30-year-old woman, who family members said was pregnant, on Sunday after she called 911 about a possible burglary - and now an investigation is underway into the officers' use of force. The Seattle Fire Department came on scene moments later but she was declared deceased once they arrived. Two police officers can be heard having a calm exchange with Lyles, who details how someone broke into her home and stole some items, including a video game console.
Police said several children were in Lyles' apartment when the she was shot.
At a vigil Sunday night, family identified the woman as Charleena Lyles, reported the Times, and said she had a history of mental health struggles. She lets them in and says, "There was a break-in". They were taken into protective custody. "There's no way you could've taken a baton and knocked the knife out of her hand?"
On Monday, an audio recording by the officers' dashcam of the incident was released.
She tells them she left her door unlocked while she went to the store and that while she was out her Xbox was stolen.
Lyles is then heard uttering a profanity, before one officer says over his radio, "We need help", and again orders her to "get back", followed by the sound of four to five gunshots in rapid succession.
"Today's incident is a tragedy for all involved", said Murray in a statement Sunday, pledging to investigate the incident. However, that has not stopped law enforcement officials from stating that Lyles had a minor criminal record and had spent nine days in jail. She had called police to report a burglary at a home near Magnuson Park, on 62nd Street. What's not yet clear is whether the officers had the time or physical space to use de-escalation techniques, and whether the presence of children influenced the decision to use deadly force. She also said her sister was pregnant.
He promised a full and thorough investigation, citing "historic police reforms" that are "in place to address such crises". "Both officers fired their duty weapons, striking the woman".
A neighbor, 42-year-old Lhora Murray, told The Stranger that police "handed her two of the victim's children - a 10-year-old and the toddler with down syndrome".
The Blotter posting indicates that "both officers were equipped with less lethal force options, per department policy". "This will be fully investigated", he continued.