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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

He said the officers approached the woman and she charged at them, carrying the knife. Both officers fired shots, hitting the woman.

Kris Silva, 32, lives across the alley east of the school. He said he heard the incident unfold from his home.

“I was in the back yard when I heard a lot of screaming; it was the children screaming,” Silva said. “About 15 minutes later, I heard a barrage of gunshots. It was about five to six gunshots.”

Silva said he ran to look into the school’s playground through the cyclone fence that borders the campus. “I saw someone lying on the ground, and the police officers were standing nearby.”

Silva’s daughter is a second-grader at the school. He waited nervously along with hundreds of other parents and relatives who were notified of the incident through the school’s automated phone messaging service.

Counselors at the ready

School officials said classes will resume today, and counselors will be available to students and staff at the school.

Modesto police officials will be on campus this morning to discuss the incident and answer questions to reassure parents the school is safe. Officers will provide extra patrols around the campus today.

“This is a tragic and unfortunate set of circumstances,” said acting Modesto Police Chief Mike Harden, who was on campus helping school officials release children to their parents. “We need to take some time to find out why this individual did this. What’s her story?”

It was the second officer- involved shooting by a Modesto police officer in four days and the fourth this year.

On Saturday, officers shot and wounded an 18-year-old man suspected of running away from an attempted burglary and driving a pickup directly at officers early Saturday at Johansen High School in east Modesto.

Michael Baker of Modesto suffered a gunshot wound to the chest that was not life-threatening and was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment, Findlen said.

Findlen said the two officers who fired their weapons in Tuesday’s shooting were placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated, which is standard procedure in officer- involved shootings.

Investigations begin

Modesto police detectives and investigators from the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office are investigating the incident, which also is routine.

Harden said the officers in Tuesday’s shooting were trying to protect themselves and the children. He said it’s a tragic event when a police officer has to use deadly force.

“Now, imagine you have to do that at a school where there are children,” Harden said. “They might not have seen (the shooting) happen, but surely they heard it.”

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    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


    over 4 years ago


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

  • Me_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Suicide by cop?

  • On_the_job_002_max50


    over 4 years ago


    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


    over 4 years ago


    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


    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


    over 4 years ago


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

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 4 years ago


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

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    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


    over 4 years ago


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

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    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


    over 4 years ago


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

  • Bpd2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    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


    over 4 years ago


    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


    over 4 years ago

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

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