A pregnant mother in Seattle was shot and killed by two Seattle cops — whom she herself called for help, authorities said Monday. The officers were dispatched to the woman’s apartment complex in Northeast Seattle shortly before 10 a.m PT Sunday (1 p.m. ET) after she reported a break-in at her home, officials said in a statement.
The woman was identified as Charleena Lyles, 30, by family members, according to NBC Seattle affiliate KING. When police arrived at the apartment, where her three young children were present, the woman began talking about the burglary calmly but then allegedly suddenly came at officers with a knife yelling “you ready? Motherf—s,” according to an audio recording of the incident released by the Seattle Police Department.
“Get back! Get back!” the officers responded before opening fire on Lyles, while at least one child can be heard crying in the background.
“The officers immediately performed first aid while the Seattle Fire Department responded, but the fire department declared the woman deceased once they arrived,” according to a police statement. “There were several children inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, but they were not injured.”
Family members say Lyles was three months pregnant, and long struggled with mental illness, according to the Seattle Times. She was “tiny” and had “mental health problems,” Lyles’ sister Monika Williams told the Seattle Times. “Why couldn’t they have Tased her? They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down,” she told the newspaper, noting that Lyles’ children witnessed her shooting.