National News

Girl Dies and Mother Is Shot After Attacking Officers, Police Say

Posted April 29, 2018 8:38 p.m. EDT

A woman who called the police to her home in Westchester County, New York, on Saturday was desperate: “I got a woman on the phone screaming, ‘Please come help me!'” a dispatcher said as he relayed the call over a police radio.

The police officers who arrived at the home in Mamaroneck found a 2-year-old girl unconscious and tried unsuccessfully to revive her, the police said. The girl’s mother, who was wielding a knife, attacked two of the responding officers as they searched the home, the authorities said. One of the officers shot the woman after Tasers failed to stop her, Sgt. Sandra DiRuzza of the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department said in a statement. The police did not identify the woman or her daughter.

On Sunday, investigators were trying to piece together what happened at the home on Chestnut Avenue in the quiet suburb. Police tape cordoned off the dead-end street as the police only allowed residents of its mostly two-story, clapboard homes to pass.

The police had been to the home just the day before. An officer can be heard on the radio saying that he had been there for an episode that involved a “TOP,” an acronym for temporary order of protection. DiRuzza did not respond to questions about the previous incident in an email asking for more information.

The police said preliminary investigations indicated that the officers “acted within departmental guidelines and training.”

The Westchester County Department of Public Safety is also investigating the encounter.

The police did not say whether it was the mother of the child who died who had called them for help. The child’s grandmother also lives at the address, according to the radio transmission obtained through Broadcastify, a streaming service.

The caller summoned officers to her home around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, the police said. But the dispatcher indicated there may have been “a little bit of a language barrier” between the police and the caller.

“I can’t make it out,” he said over the radio. Moments later, he added, “she said somebody may be dying, unsure.”

The responding officers found the toddler alone and unconscious and began to render aid. One of them called for an ambulance, the police said.

When the officers began searching the home for other people, the woman attacked them with the knife, injuring two of them, the police said.

“The female was given numerous verbal commands by the officers to show her hands,” DiRuzza said in the statement.

The woman did not comply and the officers used their Taser stun guns, the police said. When those failed to stop the woman, one of the officers opened fire, wounding her.

The woman was taken to a hospital, where she remained on Sunday. The county medical examiner was conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of the girl’s death.

Four officers were taken to the hospital to be evaluated and for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening, the police said.