Dozens of people gathered at a vigil last night for Charleena Lyles, a mother of four who was shot by Seattle Police Sunday morning.
The shooting occurred in a Solid Ground housing complex for formerly homeless families in the Sand Point neighborhood shortly after 10 a.m.
The assembled crowd held signs and candles. Lyles' uncle, Michael Taylor, told them what happened to his niece was wrong. “This is my family and we’re going to be as one. And we’re not going to stop until we get to the bottom of this,” Taylor said.
Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamieson said two officers were responding to a burglary call at an apartment. “At some point the 30-year-old female was armed with a knife. Both officers had to fire their service weapons striking the individual. Unfortunately it is a fatality,” Jamieson said.
Monika Williams who identified herself as the victim's sister was distraught. "You guys could have tased her or anything. She’s no threat. She only weighs sixty pounds. She has a mental health issue that no one is addressing,” Williams said.
Williams believes race played a factor. The victim who relatives have identified as Charleena Lyles was African American.
Jamieson said Lyles was in recent contact with police and subsequently had "hazard" information on file when she called in the burglary. He said Seattle Police officers, who were uninjured, administered first aid until the fire department arrived.
Police say three children inside the apartment at the time were unharmed. Jamieson says it’s unclear if the children witnessed the shooting.
Solid Ground Communications Director Mark Buchman said trauma counselors were working with residents.
Seattle Police Department released this audio recording from the shooting. Note: The sounds of gun shots can be heard.