Family and friends of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four who was shot and killed by police officers last week, will gather in Seattle on Tuesday evening in memory of the slain woman.
Lyles, 30, was fatally shot in her Seattle apartment at around 10 a.m. Sunday after she called the police to report a break-in at her home, according to authorities. The officers said Lyles confronted them with a knife when they arrived, according to authorities.
Police released an audio recording in connection with the killing on Monday. In it, an officer is heard saying “Get back! Get back!” before a woman responds “Do it! Do it!” An officer radios “We need help!” and the police yell “Get back!” again three more times before five gunshots are heard.
“The officers immediately performed first aid while the Seattle Fire Department responded, but the fire department declared the woman deceased once they arrived,” according to a police statement. “There were several children inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, but they were not injured.”
Lyles’ family told reporters on Sunday that she suffered from mental health issues and appeared to be having a breakdown of some sort when she called the police for help. They also questioned why other non-lethal methods weren’t used to de-escalate the situation.
“She was asking them for help with her domestic violence and they wasn’t giving her none. That’s why the mental breakdown started coming into play,” her sister, Monika Williams, said while speaking at a gathering for Lyles on Sunday.
She said her sister had been arrested earlier this month, with a weapon in her hand, after getting into a confrontation with her child’s father.
“The officers need to pay for what they did,” Williams said. “Even if my sister had a knife in her hand, she weighs like nothing, even if she’s soaking wet. There’s no way you could’ve taken a taser and taken her down? There’s no way you could’ve taken a baton and knocked the knife…