Community wants answers after NYPD sergeant kills elderly woman with schizophrenia

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

NEW YORK —  An officer-involved-shooting leaves an elderly black woman dead, a white police sergeant on modified leave, and a community demanding answers.

What we do know is, this was not the first time neighbors called 911 about Deborah Danner.

Neighbor Raphelle Gundy says, "The lady be hollering screaming, you think she'd be in there wrestling with somebody."

Police made many visits to her 7th floor apartment in The Bronx.  Officials say she the 66-year-old suffered from schizophrenia and had a history of erratic behavior.

"She was talking very violently," says Gundy.

This time, an NYPD sergeant found Danner armed with scissors when he arrived.

"He engaged the female in conversation and persuaded her to put down the scissors." says Police Chief Larry Nikunen.

According to police reports, she then grabbed a baseball bat and lunged at the officer.  "As she attempted to strike the sergeant, he fired two shots from his service revolver, striking her in the torso."

Neighbor Maria Nieves saw what happened next. "They brought the ambulance, trying to resuscitate, but she wasn't moving."

It`s not every day an elderly woman is gunned down by police and no one is denying she had mental health issues. But because of that, some are asking why use deadly force? Especially since the officer was also armed with a stun gun.

"She had a bat, had a knife doesn't matter," says Paul Nickerson. "Police officer should be trained to handle the situation accordingly."

Carl Nickerson adds, "I don't want no officer hurt but at the same time lives gotta matter."

Given Danner`s mental health history, an investigation may decide whether the officers involved crossed a blue line.

10 day forecast



Don't Miss