Officer Shoots Hatchet-Wielding Woman in Wal-Mart

The developmentally disabled woman died Friday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 9, 2016 4:00 PM CDT
Officer Shoots Hatchet-Wielding Woman in Wal-Mart

A police officer fatally shot a developmentally disabled woman inside a Wisconsin Wal-Mart after she refused to drop a hatchet she had grabbed from a shelf, the AP reports. Chippewa County sheriff Jim Kowalczyk says the woman was shopping with chaperones Friday at the store in Lake Hallie. The sheriff says police were called around 5pm after she grabbed a hatchet from a sporting goods department shelf and began swinging it, using it on pillows and other items before officers showed up. He says police arrived and ordered her to drop the hatchet. "She did not cooperate, and then apparently lunged at the officer, and he did what he is trained to do, and shot her," Kowalczyk says.

The woman was taken to the hospital with wounds to her abdomen and thigh. Coroner Ronald Patten says the 25-year-old woman died Friday night. An autopsy was planned for Sunday. Authorities did not immediately release the woman's name. Kowalczyk says she was a resident of the Northern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Chippewa Falls. The officer who shot the woman was placed on administrative leave and will be interviewed by investigators, Kowalczyk says. "Through our investigation we've gotten statements from a number of eyewitnesses, and people who were in the vicinity that actually saw the police officer and the actions prior to the shooting," the sheriff says. (More police shooting stories.)

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