SAN DIEGO — A woman was shot to death by authorities Thursday in Little Italy after police say she stabbed an officer in the chest with a “large chef’s knife.”
At approximately 12:38 p.m., San Diego police received a request from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for “urgent cover” at an apartment at the Aqua Vista Tower in the 400 block of West Beech Street, police Lt. Matt Dobbs said in a news briefing. According to Dobbs, sheriff’s deputies from the Court Services Unit went to the 47-year-old woman’s complex to serve her with civil process paperwork.
“When they met the female at the door, she was holding a knife and did not cooperate with deputies and eventually closed the door,” Dobbs said, adding that additional assistance was then requested.
Before help arrived, deputies learned the woman had threatened a male maintenance worker with a knife on Wednesday at the same complex, Dobbs said. Further details on that interaction were not shared.
They attempted to communicate with her for at least 45 minutes, according to Dobbs, but that effort was unsuccessful. Once “appropriate resources” were secured, Dobbs said authorities opened the front door of the apartment, at which time the woman stabbed the officer in the chest.
That’s when Dobbs claims three sheriff’s deputies and one San Diego police officer opened fire on the woman, whose identity is known to police but was not immediately disclosed. She died at the scene.
The identities of the involved sheriff’s deputies and the police officer also were not released.
Brian Paynter, who lives in the tower, told FOX 5 that he was alarmed Thursday when his roommate sent him a photo of a sheriff’s deputy with a gun drawn at the unit across from his. Paynter said he’d watched for a few minutes, but went back inside because it didn’t seem like anything was going to happen.
That’s when he said he heard a loud banging on the wall.
“They pulled the woman out,” Paynter said. “She was on the ground and they were giving her chest compressions. My neighbor said that they fired at her and that she had a knife and had stabbed one of the police officers… stabbed him in the chest.”
Retired firefighter Joe Gilbert Canales said he saw the officer rushed to the ambulance from the complex across the street.
“I knew it was a cop because he had the blue pants and the black shoes and no shirt,” Canales said. “Somebody told me that he’d yanked it off.”
The injured officer — identified as a canine officer in a tweet by the San Diego Police Officers Association — was treated for his injuries at the UC San Diego Medical Center and already has been released, police Chief David Nisleit said.
“That is great news that our officer is doing very, very well,” Nisleit said.
The investigation into the deadly shooting is ongoing, according to Dobbs.
FOX 5’s Clara Benitez and Jaime Chambers contributed to this report.