Last week, a distressed woman was fatally shot by Austin police after her husband called 911 asking for a mental health officer; another woman, a 66-year-old with schizophrenia, was fatally shot by police in the Bronx. Now, yet another tragic police shooting involves a woman with mental illness. Police in Washington state shot and killed a pregnant 23-year-old mother of three on tribal land last weekend.
The Seattle Times reports that police officers were called to check on 23-year-old Renee Davis on Friday night around 6:30 p.m. Davis, who struggled with depression, had texted a friend earlier that night saying that she wasn't feeling well, according to her foster sister Danielle Bargala.
The details are still unclear, but the sheriff's office claims that the deputies were investigating a report of a suicidal person and discovered a young woman with a handgun. According to KOMO News, King County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Cindi West explained, "They tried repeatedly to get somebody to come to the door, nobody did. But, they could see the two kids running around inside then house." Then, the deputies entered the home and fired multiple shots at the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
"It's really upsetting because it was a wellness check," Bargala told the Seattle Times. "Obviously, she didn't come out of it well."
The children in the home were not hurt and are now in protective custody. The two deputies have been put on paid administrative leave until the shooting is investigated, according to Fusion.
Davis, who has Native American heritage, is survived by three young children and was five months pregnant when she was killed. Her foster sister described Davis as "such a soft person."
Of all police shootings, a quarter of them involve someone with mental illness. According to the Washington Post, at least 776 people have been shot and killed by police so far this year. Only 32 of the victims have been women, and 13 of the 32 women killed by police were listed as mentally ill.