Fort Worth police release video of suicidal woman reaching for knife
TARRANT COUNTY (CBSNewsTexas) - Body camera video shows a Fort Worth police officer backing away from a door, and yelling for a woman to drop a knife, before she fired a single shot, hitting the woman in the hip.
Police released edited portions of the video Thursday, three days after the shooting on the second-floor balcony of an apartment complex on the city's east side.
The woman, who police identified as 20-year-old Kaitlyn Balogun, was released from the hospital the next day. She was booked into jail on a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant. Police did not identify the officer, who is on leave, which is standard after a shooting.
No members of the department's Crisis Intervention Team were on duty at the time of the call, which came in at 11:30 p.m. The unit responds to situations where someone may be experiencing mental health issues.
Fort Worth has expanded that team to 23 people, but Police Chief Neil Noakes said the department is still working toward greater availability.
"We're in talks with city leaders who understand the importance and necessity of this team, to make sure we have 24-7-365 coverage where CIT is on duty at all times," he said.
The officer arrived at the call on Greenspoint Drive within three minutes, with information that the caller was "bleeding out" and "trying to kill herself."
Video shows her knocking loudly and announcing herself, trying the door, only to find it was locked. She says on the video that she didn't have a tool to breach the door.
When Balogun answers the door, she backs away into the room, and the officer calmly asks her what's going on. Then Balogun quickly moves toward a knife on the floor.
The officer drew her weapon, and told a dispatcher Balogun had a knife. Balogun drops to her knees, and through tears, tells the officer "please shoot me."
The officer repeatedly told the woman she did not want to shoot her, and to drop the knife, but fired a single shot when the woman advanced.
The body camera from the second officer to arrive, shows the first officer inside the apartment, aiding Balogun after she was shot.
Noakes said the entire incident will be reviewed to determine if there were any policy violations to be addressed.
A national 988 hotline is available now for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis. The ICARE call center in Tarrant County is also available 24 hours a day for people who need mental health or substance abuse emergency support.
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