Seattle police release footage from outside of dead mother’s apartment
Update: Seattle police released dashcam and hallway video related to the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles.
Update: The Seattle Police Department released an audio file of the shooting that left a pregnant mother dead on Sunday.
The audio, which was captured by the officers’ dashcam video system, depicts the minutes leading up to the shooting of 30-year-old Charleena Lyles.
The officers can be heard discussing a previous encounter with Lyles.
“Is this the woman with the three kids?” one officer asks.
“So this gal, she was the one making all these weird statements about how her and her daughter are going to turn into wolves,” the other responds.
Eventually, after they make contact with Lyles, the officers can be heard telling her to “get back.”
She asks them: “You ready, (expletive)?”
An officer says: “We need help.”
Then the shooting begins.
You can listen to the full audio here. Note:
SPD redacted portions of the audio file.
Family demands answers
Family members are demanding answers after Lyles, a black mother of four, was shot and killed by two white Seattle police officers in front of several of her young children.
Lyles died after suffering a gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen at an apartment building near Magnuson Park in Seattle Sunday morning.
Two officers responded to a burglary call around 10 a.m. and were confronted on the fourth floor by a woman with a knife. Both officers fired and struck the woman. They immediately performed CPR, but she was pronounced dead once medics arrived.
No officers were injured.
Police say there were several children in the apartment located at 6800 62nd Street. No children were injured and they are currently with family members.
At the scene, the raw emotion of a family receiving the news was on full display.
“My cousin called to tell me it’s my sister,” Monika Williams cried out in anguish.
Williams said her sister suffered from mental health issues, but insisted she was not a threat.
“What is she going to do to all you police?,” Williams demanded. “You big ass men? I can take her down, I know you can.”
Seattle police said they received a burglary call from Lyles. They sent two officers because they knew Lyles and were concerned for the officers’ safety. They arrived at Brettler Family Place 3 and went up to the fourth floor. They said Lyles confronted them with a knife.
“Both officers had to fire their service weapons, striking the individual,” Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamieson said. “Unfortunately, it is a fatality.”
One neighbor said he was woken by the sound of gunfire.
“A couple of the shots, yeah,” Anthony, who would give only his first name, said. “Just rolled over on the bed, you know — had [to] duck to make sure, if something did come through, it didn’t get me.”
Police said several children were in Lyles’ apartment when she was shot.
“There’s no reason for her to be shot in front of her babies,” Williams said.
Lyles had an extensive criminal record. She was arrested June 5 for harassment and obstructing a police officer. She was released from the King County Jail June 14. Her family said she didn’t belong there, but no one would listen.
“She has mental health issues that nobody’s trying to f**king address,” Williams insisted.
Her family also said she found out she was three months pregnant while in jail.
A story in the Federal Way Mirror featured Lyles in 2008. She had gotten a job through a program for at-risk youth. The story said Lyles had been receiving welfare when she entered the THRIVE program and was later placed at the Poverty Bay Coffee Company in Federal Way where she was permanently employed and no longer received welfare.
Both officers will be placed on administrative leave, in accordance with SPD policy. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is promising a full investigation.
Per Seattle Police protocol, and in accordance with the Department of Justice, detectives from the Force Investigation Team (FIT) and SPD Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) responded to the scene, along with representatives from the Office of Professional Accountability.
FIT detectives will investigate use of force and CSI detectives will process the scene for evidence.
KIRO 7 contributed to this story.