A 66-year-old woman was shot by police Tuesday evening after attempting to strike a sergeant with a baseball bat in a Bronx apartment, the NYPD said.
The woman has been identified as Deborah Danner, a law enforcement source said.
Police are investigating why the sergeant, who has been placed on modified duty, did not use his stun gun instead of his weapon.
“The sergeant was armed with a Taser. It was not deployed, and the reason it was not deployed will be part of the investigation and review,” Chief Larry Nikunen, Bronx commanding officer, said at a news conference Tuesday night.
Officers had responded to a call about an emotionally disturbed person in an apartment building on Pugsley Avenue near Randall Avenue in Castle Hill around 6:05 p.m., Nikunen said. The responding officers were then directed to the seventh floor, he said.
When a sergeant entered the seventh-floor apartment 10 minutes later, he found Danner by herself holding a pair of scissors. The sergeant was able to talk her into putting the scissors down, Nikunen said, but she then grabbed a baseball bat and tried to hit him with it.
Nikunen said the sergeant then fired two shots, striking her in the torso. She was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in critical condition, where she later died, Nikunen said.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said the woman was mentally disturbed, and police should not have used such force with her.
"This elderly woman was known to the police department, yet the officer involved in this shooting failed to use discretion to either talk her down from her episode or, barring that, to use his stun gun," he said. “That is totally unacceptable."
The shooting is being investigated by the Force Investigation Division.