Lakewood police shot and killed a woman after she walked out of a mobile home and pointed a BB gun at officers on Monday, according to a department spokesman.
LAKEWOOD, Pierce County — Police shot and killed a woman after she walked out of a mobile home and pointed a BB gun that resembled a regular handgun at officers, according to a Lakewood Police Department spokesman.
The dead woman was identified as Carolyn Moran-Hernandez, 46.
The shooting followed a domestic-violence call involving Moran-Hernandez and her partner at the Francis Court mobile-home park, in the 3200 block of South 83rd Street, at about 9:15 a.m. Monday. The partner, a 45-year-old woman, called 911 and reported that the couple were arguing, and she told dispatchers her partner was armed with a kitchen knife, said Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler.
After several officers surrounded the home, Moran-Hernandez walked outside but was not armed, Lawler said. She told officers to shoot her several times, Lawler said. The woman then told police she needed to get something from inside the home and went back in.
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Moran-Hernandez emerged moments later, walked from her porch to the driveway and raised the gun, ignoring commands to drop the weapon, Lawler said. Three Lakewood officers fired a total of nine times. Medics attempted to treat Moran-Hernandez’s injuries, but she was declared dead around 10 a.m.
“It seems like a ‘suicide by cop,’ ” Lawler told the Tacoma News Tribune.
Moran-Hernandez’s 27-year-old daughter was inside the house at the time of the shooting, but she was not injured, he said.
Lawler said police had responded to domestic disputes at the home twice before: on March 10, 2009, and last Sept. 3. Lawler said that in the most recent call Moran-Hernandez was reported to be suicidal and had overdosed on sleeping pills.
Next-door neighbor Steve Tracht said he was awakened around 7:30 a.m. Monday by the sounds of a fight between the two women. “There was a lot of screaming and yelling and name calling,” he said.
Tracht said he’s lived in the park for about a year and has heard about a half-dozen “knockdown, drag-out fights” between the couple.
Tracht said he went back to sleep but was awakened again shortly after 9 a.m. by sounds of police activity. He heard an officer yell, “Don’t go back into the house” several times and then heard police repeatedly saying, “Drop the gun, drop the gun.”
About a minute later, he said, he heard several gunshots.
Resident Erik Martinson, 21, said Monday he woke up to the sound of gunfire.
“I literally woke up to ‘boom, boom, boom, boom’ — I think it was four shots,” he said. “I don’t really blame the cops for pulling the trigger. It was either her or them.”
The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine after a police shooting. One is a sergeant with 24 years of law-enforcement experience; the second officer has 16 years’ experience, and the third has served for 11 years.
Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or email@example.com.
Seattle Times staff reporter Christine Clarridge and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.