On Sunday (June 18) morning, Charleena Lyles, a pregnant 30-year-old mother of four, was shot by the Seattle Police Department at her apartment in the Magnuson Park neighborhood of the city, reports The Seattle Times.
Lyles called 911 to report an attempted burglary, and two police officers responded to her call around 10 a.m. According to a statement from the police, there were “several children” in the apartment at the time of the shooting when Lyles “confronted” the officers with a knife. Today law enforcement released a four-minute audio recording of the fatal encounter, in which officers can be saying, “We need help” and “Get back! Get back!” before they begin firing.
The children in the apartment, ages one, four and 11, were not hurt and police are trying to determine if they witnessed the shooting.
At a vigil last night, family members said Lyles had a history of mental health issues and that she was several months pregnant with her fifth child. “Why couldn’t they have Tased her?” Monika Williams, Lyles’s sister, told the Seattle Times. “They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.”
Both of the officers had been placed on administrative leave. The department’s Force Investigative Team is investigating their use of deadly force.