- Posted August 19, 2014 by
Jacksonville, North Carolina
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Police shooting in Phoenix, AZ
Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a police spokesman, said officers had a court order to take Michelle Cusseaux to a mental-health facility.
Officers went to the Graybriar Condominiums, 3810 N. Maryvale Parkway, to pick up Cusseaux at about 2:15 p.m.
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Thompson said caseworkers "were trying to get her to come in for treatment. It got to the point that she wouldn't do that. ... She had a weapon and was making threats."
As police were opening the security door to her unit, Cusseaux was opening her front door with a claw hammer raised above her head, Thompson said.
He said police were within an arm's length of Cusseaux and, feeling threatened, a patrol sergeant fired one shot from his gun, striking her in the chest. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Thompson said the Phoenix Police Department serves an average of 10 mental-health orders each day and that they are some of the most challenging and potentially dangerous tasks for officers.
The sergeant, a 19-year police veteran, was placed on routine, paid administrative leave, Thompson said, adding that there will be an internal investigation.