NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The deadly police-involved shooting of a woman in Queens is under investigation Tuesday.
The NYPD said the woman called 911 and then attacked the responding officers with a knife.
The tense scene played out around 5:30 p.m. Monday on 69th Street in Maspeth. Heavily armed members of the NYPD’s emergency services unit made their way into a two-family brick home.
Sources told CBS2 a woman, identified as 54-year-old Susan Muller, called 911 to report a female intruder armed with a razor or knife on the second floor.
“Uniformed members responded to a 911 call of a burglary in progress,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.
When police arrived, they said Muller met the officers outside and followed them upstairs into the apartment. That’s when investigators said she turned on the officers.
“The 54-year-old woman came at the officers with a knife and lunged at them. One of the officers gave directions to put the knife down. We know this because there was body camera video. Subsequently, one officer discharges his service weapon three times, striking the female in the torso,” Shea said.
There were a total of 50 seconds between when police first entered the apartment to when the first shot was fired.
Investigators recovered a knife at the scene. They said this was not the first time police have been called to the home.
Neighbors said they often heard commotion inside.
“They yelled a lot. I heard them yell pretty frequently,” said neighbor Kevin Tang. “They did keep to themselves. They just didn’t keep the noise to themselves.”
Why the woman called 911 and the reason behind her behavior are now part of the ongoing investigation. Sources said she had a history of mental illness.
“What you saw here tonight is how quickly things can develop, as you said, and how quickly our officers transition from, unfortunately at times, having to use deadly physical force to then rendering aid and attempting to save a life,” Shea said.
Muller’s boyfriend of five years, a retired NYPD sergeant, told reporters outside their apartment that alcohol may have been a factor and that she was extremely upset when he last saw her Monday.
“A very caring and lovable person,” said Edward Rogers. “I could not see her getting violent with the police, but I wasn’t here when it happened.”
He also said he does not blame the officers.
“Police have the roughest job in the world, split-second decisions,” he said.
Body camera footage of the incident has not yet been released.