Written by Caitlin McGlade | | [email protected]
A female police officer shot a 62-year-old woman described by police as â€œschizophrenicâ€ yesterday after she brandished a pair a sewing scissors and refused to cooperate, threatening to kill the officer.
Officer Diane Chandler, a 33-year-old patrol officer certified with crisis intervention training, shot Linda Hicks multiple times, killing her instantly, said Chief of Police Michael Navarre at a press conference today.
Four bullets were found in Hicksâ€™ body, including two in her head. Navarre said he could not verify exactly how many times Chandler shot Hicks because one of the bullets struck the scissor blades and fragmented.
Chandler and Officer Rebecca Kenney rushed to the scene after the police station received a phone call at about 8 p.m. Monday concerning Hicks possessing a weapon, he said.
When the two arrived, Hicks lay on her bed and refused to remove her arms from beneath her pillow. Kenney attempted to deploy her Taser but the cartridge malfunctioned so she had to use the device in drive-stun mode by placing it against Hicksâ€™ flesh, Navarre said.
Hicks got off the bed and said â€œIâ€™m going to kill you or youâ€™re going to have to kill me,â€ and raised her scissors. Chandler then fired her gun, Navarre said.
Hicks, diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression and hypertension, lived in a group home at 1321 Fernwood Ave. and had not taken her medication that day, Navarre said, quoting caretaker Tanya Murphy.
â€œ(Chandler) thought her life was in danger,â€ Navarre said, adding that he could not comment as to whether he thought the shooting was justified.
Hicksâ€™ death marks the fifth one this year caused by police action, Navarre said. Between this yearâ€™s lay-offs and a seemingly more â€œbrazenâ€ offender population, he added the police force has an increasingly more difficult duty.
â€œItâ€™s a difficult job out there,â€ Navarre said. â€œOfficers are being stretched to the limit.â€
Chandlerâ€™s case will be brought before the Fire Arms Review Board for investigation, Navarre said. Prosecutor Julia Bates or an assistant prosecutor will also decide if the case needs a grand jury within a few weeks, he added.