Phoenix Police Officer Fatally Shot Woman Following Altercation

August 15, 2014

A Phoenix police officer is on administrative leave after fatally shooting a woman in the West Valley on Thursday. The incident occurred as officers were trying to serve an emergency mental health pickup order.

The pickup order for Michelle Cusseaux was issued because she had allegedly threatened to shoot several mental health workers who recently provided her care.

Phoenix PD’s Tommy Thompson said, when approached by law enforcement, she refused to come out of her apartment.

"A sergeant arrived on scene and the officers were able to get the security door open but as they did Cusseaux quickly opened the front door and with a claw hammer raised above her head and she came towards the officers," he explained.

According to Thompson, Cusseaux was shot once by the sergeant and later died from her injuries.

Cusseaux’s mother, Frances Garrett, is requesting a second autopsy. Her attorney says the incident is a result of police brutality and excessive force.