The NYPD officer who shot and killed an apparently emotionally disturbed woman in Queens Monday first pulled out a stun gun before using his firearm instead, department officials said Thursday.
Since the officer who fired the fatal shots had not yet been interviewed, it was unclear why he chose not use the Taser before opening fire and killing Susan Muller, 54, said Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney, head of the NYPD force investigation unit, during a news media briefing.
Since 2000, there had been nine requests for assistance at Muller's residence, including for domestic disturbance, intoxication, emotional disturbance and a complaint about an animal.
Officers responded Sunday to Muller's home at 52-14 69th St. in Maspeth after she made a 911 call about a burglar inside. After officers from three commands arrived, they searched the residence but didn't find a burglar. At that point, Maloney said, one of the officers asked Muller if she was certain she had seen someone.
As the officer questioned Muller, she approached him carrying a knife and ignored his command to drop it, Maloney said. The officer initially had the Taser out but then displayed his firearm. He told Muller again to drop the knife, the deputy chief said, before firing, hitting her three times in the torso. Cops gave Muller CPR but she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the NYPD.
Police said some of the officers had body cameras activated but that while there is audio of the deadly encounter, video images didn’t capture the shooting. The investigation is continuing, Maloney said.