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Detroit police: Woman fatally shot by officers after assaulting family members

Detroit police: Woman fatally shot by officers after assaulting family members
Detroit police: Woman fatally shot by officers after assaulting family members 02:42

(CBS DETROIT) - Police say a woman who was reportedly suffering from a mental health crisis and assaulted her son and mother on Detroit's west side was fatally shot by officers Thursday evening.

In a press conference on Friday, Police Chief James White said there will be a full investigation, which will include reviewing videos, interviewing neighbors and looking for witnesses on the incident. 

White says the children inside the home are safe and with the woman's mother. Police did not release the woman's name. She was 27 years old.

In the meantime, investigators say three officers who fired the shots were placed on administrative leave for 10 days pending the investigation.

"Whether the officers were acting based on the fact that the children were in the home and the urgent necessity to get the children from the home is currently being investigated," White said. "But we do know that when children are at risk, the decision to protect them is our top priority."

Police responded at about 6:20 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the area of Meyers Road and Pilgrim Street after a caller said that her daughter was suffering from schizophrenia and assaulted her grandchild.

"(She) reported that her daughter was armed with a knife and a bat. The caller again stated that she was fearful of her having the bat and the knives. The female also reported that her daughter had access to a firearm. She further reported that she had been struck in the head by her daughter and that she might have to kill her own daughter," White said.

White says the phone hung up and the grandmother called back saying "there was a felon pointing a gun at me," referring to her daughter.

White says the grandmother told police she and the great-grandmother went to the home and felt that something wasn't right and saw that the oldest child had been assaulted. The grandmother told police her daughter then assaulted her as she and the great-grandmother attempted to leave.

They were able to get out of the house, and the daughter came out of the house with a gun, prompting the grandmother to call 911.

White says officers arrived and asked the woman inside the home if they could see the children and if they were OK, to which the woman refused to allow the children to respond to officers and closed the door.

Police say the woman opened the door again and was talking to police when officers entered the home, leading to a struggle for the gun.

The woman was shot and later died from her injuries.

White said the investigation confirmed that the woman did not shoot and wrestled for the gun with the first officer who entered the home. 

White says four rounds were fired by the three officers.

The shooting is now the second time DPD shot someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Last month, 20-year-old Porter Burks was shot and killed when he charged toward officers with a knife.

White called this shooting tragedy.

"We have a crisis in our country, in our city [and] in our state," he said. "We've lost mental health, inpatient treatment facilities since the late nineties. And we see the results of having really no comprehensive treatment opportunity.

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