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Woman With Knife at Playground Shot And Killed By Police

Woman With Knife at Playground Shot And Killed By Police

(Stock Photo)

The Modesto Bee via YellowBrix

December 16, 2009

Police officers shot and killed a woman Tuesday after she walked onto the playground of a north Modesto elementary school, cutting herself in the head with a large knife in front of children and school officials.

The unidentified woman charged at officers, who were forced to “resort to the use of deadly force,” said Sgt. Brian Findlen, a Modesto police spokesman.

No other injuries were reported.

Police did not release the woman’s name Wednesday night, but they described her as a white woman in her early 40s. Findlen said she was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The school remained on lockdown for about 50 minutes, until about 3 p.m., when children were led out of classrooms in groups to their parents or guardians, who waited for them in front of the school.

Investigators spent most of the afternoon and evening gathering evidence at the scene and speaking to witnesses.

The incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. at Catherine Everett Elementary School at 1530 Mount Vernon Drive, several blocks west of Tully Road and north of Briggsmore Avenue.

Findlen said some children were on the playground when the woman came on the campus with what appeared to be a meat cleaver. He said she was described as acting bizarre and “hitting herself in the head and upper body with the sharp edge of the blade.”

There was no indication the woman threatened any children or school employees, Findlen said.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the woman knew any students or employees, Findlen said, but there was no information that indicated she had a link to the school.

Findlen said some of the children saw the woman’s actions.

Quick action saluted

Police and school officials credited Principal Michael Brady and yard duty supervisor Trent Greer for speaking to the woman, distracting her as other staff members ushered the children into classrooms.

Findlen said the school officials continued to speak to the woman, but she did not respond.

At 2:08 p.m., police dispatchers received the first report from campus officials that the woman was on the school’s basketball courts, injuring herself with the knife.

Findlen said the children were inside their classrooms when two police officers arrived about three minutes later.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    The Officers here did a great job. They did what they felt was necessary to protect life. Hats off to the school officals for their fast thinking and putting their lives on the line to protect the students and fellow staff.

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    over 4 years ago

    23136 Comments

    Say it with me "MENTAL". The "Big Sleep". Hope the children will be okay.

  • Me_max50

    shellshocked

    over 4 years ago

    68 Comments

    Suicide by cop?

  • On_the_job_002_max50

    kaalima

    over 4 years ago

    1748 Comments

    The officers involved did an outstanding job. I just hope that the children, who may have been in the area will not be traumatized too much.

  • Draped_badge_max50

    184retired

    over 4 years ago

    3806 Comments

    What is this world coming to??? You know I think the more psych meds they hand out the crazier people get...Great job by all involved, thank God no children were hurt...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    My prayers for the kids that had to witness this incident. Thank God for the quick actions by the officers involved. Apparently this women had a lot of other issues going on at the time.

  • Pot_luck_at_work_max50

    Omarra67

    over 4 years ago

    2284 Comments

    It doesn't sound to me like the woman was even completely cognizant of the situation she was in. Very sad.

  • Snoopy_6_max50

    Jonas

    over 4 years ago

    41204 Comments

    Way to go LEOs. Thankfully no one else was hurt! Again, way to go LEOs!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Good job officers. When dealing with mentaly unstable subjects you must make snap decisions. Although no one of us wish to take a human life. This was the correct decision.

  • Spartan_cops_max50

    Lawful_Blue

    over 4 years ago

    1184 Comments

    Oh, the psycho's out there..........

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    graske

    over 4 years ago

    138 Comments

    Kudos not only to Modesto PD but the shrewdness of the Principal and Staff to evac the children from the playground.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    clearforcode7

    over 4 years ago

    394 Comments

    Great job Modesto P.D.! I am glad the Officers stopped this from getting real ugly.

  • Bpd2_max50

    CodyTheCoasty

    over 4 years ago

    122 Comments

    when i was in school and we had lock down drills all students were to hide in a corner of the room farthest from the windows with blinds drawn and lights off so its hopefull that no children saw the woman get shot. good work by all officers involved and im glad the situation turned out well for the most part.

  • American_first_responder2_max50

    trooperman911

    over 4 years ago

    2472 Comments

    It's always sad to know that an LEO has to revert to Deadly Force, and as a last resort, we have no other choice...thank God the children are safe, the LEO's went home safe and this turned out well for everyone accept the woman that apparently had mental problems of some type...banging the knife or cleaver into her head and upper body sharp edge side toward herself, has to be something wrong, and unresponsive to anyone...this was bad but could have been much worst on a childrens school campus. Great job Officer's.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Wow..... people are only getting more crazy...

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