An officer at Washington’s Spokane County Jail shot and killed a 70-year-old woman in the lobby of the building.
Spokane County officials said once she reached the lobby, King “moved aggressively” toward Sgt. Justin White, who demanded that she put down her knife before firing his gun, KXLY reported.
The shooting is under investigation by the Washington State Patrol, with help from the local police department.
King’s nephew told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that he couldn’t understand why White couldn’t get control of the 110-pound senior without killing her.
A 70-year-old woman was shot and killed at Washington’s Spokane County Jail on November 4, according to the county Medical Examiner’s office.
Nancy King, a 110-pound senior, arrived at the jail’s entrance around 8 p.m. and buzzed several times to be let in by a receptionist, jail director Mike Sparber told the Spokane Spokesman-Review.
Spokane County officials said once she reached the lobby, King “moved aggressively” toward Sgt. Justin White, who demanded that she put down her knife before firing his gun, KXLY reported. The Spokane County Medical Examiner listed her cause of death as “gunshot wounds” and the manner as “homicide.”
Nancy’s nephew Jack King described himself to the Spokesman-Review as a “pro-law enforcement and I’m a law-and-order type person,” but said he was confused by how she posed a safety threat. He also told the outlet he didn’t know what would have brought his aunt, who he said suffered from mental illness and alcoholism, to jail on a Friday night.
“It’s really hard to picture that, but it was a cold night. I don’t know if she was having a mental breakdown or if she was just freezing to death and looking for someplace warm to go,” Jack King told the paper. “Sure, a homeless person can seem scary, but it’s hard to picture someone that small and elderly being a threat to a corrections officer.”
In the US, about 25% of the people shot by police are experiencing such a crisis, Dennis Kenney, a former officer and current professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, previously told Insider.
The shooting is under investigation by the Washington State Patrol, with help from the local police department, the Spokesman-Review reported.
“Since she doesn’t have any children, there really isn’t going to be anybody rattling their swords for justice, and we wanted to make sure there was some pressure on the authorities to do their job,” Jack King told the outlet of the investigation.
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