Seattle police officers opened fire and killed a 30-year-old pregnant mother of four on Sunday in front of “several children” after she called police to report a possible burglary.
According The Washington Post, officers walked to the fourth floor of Charleena Lyles' apartment building to investigate the burglary call and saw that she was armed with a knife.
The Seattle Times reported that Lyles was several months pregnant and had been struggling with mental-health issues for the past year.
Lyles's sister, Monika Williams, attended a vigil service dedicated to her sister on Sunday. “Why couldn’t they have Tased her?” Williams said to the Seattle Times. “They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.”
The Seattle Police Department offered few details on what exactly caused the police officers to open fire on Lyles.
UPDATE: Audio of yesterday's officer involved shooting and the moments leading up to it is now available. https://t.co/6JGqL8Lppw— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 19, 2017
The police department released audio of the fatal incident.
According the the Washington Post, the children inside at the time were unharmed. Family members of Lyles' told The Seattle Times that they believe her race -- African-American -- was a factor in her death. Seattle police told the newspaper that the officers who shot her are white.
Authorities said the police department’s Force Investigative Team is looking into the officers’ decision to use deadly force. Both officers will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation, authorities said.
Why shoot to kill? Good grief, a woman with a knife against armed police? Shoot her in the knees or arm. For heaven sake, stop the killing!— Sharon (@SharonWillow54) June 18, 2017
The incident has sparked debate online.