Local News

Police: Mother remembers daughter chasing, stabbing her

Posted June 9, 2008
Updated September 8, 2008

— A woman whose daughter stabbed her more than a dozen times Sunday told police she has specific memories of the ordeal.

Rajalakshni Cannipuphur, 58, said she remembers her daughter, Aishnakya Santhanakrishnan, 28, chasing and stabbing her as she tried to get out of her daughter’s condo, officers reported.

“(She) said that her daughter was calling her by a name that she did not recognize,” Morrisville Police Chief Ira Jones said.

The fight moved outside the Preston Creekside condominium complex, off Morrisville-Carpenter Road.

“She was trying to get away from her daughter as her daughter repeatedly stabbed her,” Jones said.

Cannipuphur also said she remembered seeing a police officer and calling for help.

When officers arrived, they told Santhanakrishnan to drop the knife and shot her when she refused. She died after being taken to WakeMed.

Cannipuphur was listed in good condition Monday.

Witnesses said Sunday that the daughter screamed, "I can't take it anymore" as she stabbed her mother.

Police arrived shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday.

“(An officer) gave a verbal command, 'drop the knife, drop the knife.' She did not. She continued to slash and stab her mother and the officer in turn fired his weapon,” Jones said.

Cannipuphur suffered 15 to 18 lacerations on her back and chest, police said. She told police she doesn’t know what caused the attack.

“Nobody gets into this business to kill anybody. That's something that we hope we never do ... never have to draw weapons. However, that's part of the job,” Jones said.

The daughter worked at Duke University for several years, but had recently tranferred to a new position. Santhanakrishnan’s husband told police the job was hard for his wife.

“It was a new job for her and she was under stress,” Jones said.

Santhanakrishnan’s parents were visiting from India.

Police said Santhanakrishnan and her husband lived at the condominium. The incident occurred after Santhanakrishnan’s husband and father went to the grocery store, leaving the two women alone. When the men left, Santhanakrishnan was taking a nap and her mother was resting in the living room.

Family members told police Santhanakrishnan had no history of mental illness.

The officer who shot the daughter is on paid administrative leave as the State Bureau of Investigation reviews the incident.

Morrisville police said the incident was extremely unusual for the town. The last homicide recorded for the town was 2004.


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  • Tripwire Jun 10, 2008

    The Mother is lucky to be alive. In a vicious knife attack any one of the wounds could have been fatal. Had the officer not stopped the attack when he did the very next blow could have been the fatal one. Then he would have been persecuted for allowing the daughter to murder the woman in his presence. The officer did exactly the proper thing. Shoot for center mass never for the extremities which are moving erratically. Protect the victim and the general public first the perpetrator gets the very last consideration.

  • islandgirl Jun 10, 2008

    Good Job Mr Policeman, something horrible must of happen, there more to this story that we the public dont know about, it just doesnt seem right at all.... Daughter has no mental issues, she's stressed out with her job...okay meeh too, shot I'm stressed out with my job, but im not waking up at 7am and stabbing my love ones, or anyone of that matter..... too bad the daughter isnt here to tell her side..... Once again sad, sad, story

  • TheDecider Jun 9, 2008

    A very scary situation. Hopefully the coroner can determine if she had an organic disorder (brain tumor) which caused her erratic behaviour.

    Judging from the video, the Morrisville PD needs to lay off the fast food -- many of them appear to be grossly overweight and would need a rocket assist to do a 100 yard dash....

  • didyouhearme Jun 9, 2008

    I'm a nobody. Neither Pascifist or activist. Hang, I don't even know what those words mean. But I'd like to tell the neighborhood cops: if you should find me being stabbed senseless with a knife. Please take whatever measures you need to stop the situation. Please never ever feel one moment of guilt or doubt for saving my life or attempting to save my life. No matter who is at "fault" the person with the knife is obviously the bad guy. Put the knife down and Bi__ch slap yourselves silly. The daughter meant to kill. Whatever the mother meant, it wasn't that. And I don't think the mother got off scott free. If she provoked the situation, then she will always have herself to blame for the death of her daughter. I wouldn't want to live with that.

  • Scubagirl Jun 9, 2008

    "What is the name of the officer who fired the shot(s)?"
    Why does that matter?

  • mike honcho Jun 9, 2008

    I've had new jobs, I've had stessful jobs, I've had new and stressful jobs, never once have I thought of stabbing my Mother with a knife because of it.......there's more to this story.

  • gt705 Jun 9, 2008

    What is the name of the officer who fired the shot(s)?

  • sideline Jun 9, 2008

    Dear Police officers,

    If you pull up to someone stabbing me please do whatever it takes to save my life.


  • Ekeoutalivin Jun 9, 2008

    My, my. Don't we have a lot of opinions with no basis in fact. No one knows why she was stabbing her mother. Does it really matter??? The police were called and found one woman attacking another with a knife. The attacker would not stop the attack when ordered to. The police shot the attacker and prevented further harm from being inflicted on the victim. Isn't that what we hire them to do?

  • bluewater Jun 9, 2008

    Hey Admiral what if they're a liar, a coward and a fool. I think you know who I'm referring to.