Woman shot, killed after coming at APD officer with knife, chief says

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 20-year-old woman was shot and killed by an Austin police officer after walking toward police with a knife in a southeast Austin home, Interim Chief of Police Brian Manley said.

Officers were called to the 7300 block of South Glenn Street at 2:23 a.m., near the intersection of Burleson Road and McKinney Falls Parkway — just west of the Austin airport. 

The caller initially reported someone she knew was trying to break into the house, and a few minutes later said the suspect made it inside. The call was then disconnected.

In a second call to 911, the woman said she was hiding outside because her cousin was chasing her with a knife through the neighborhood.

"The 911 operator indicated that she could actually hear the suspect chasing them as the complainant was making this call. The complainant said another friend was hiding on the other side of the street as well and that there were three unknown males who were also trying to get away from this suspect," said Manley. 

Manley says the caller told the dispatcher her cousin was chasing them because she was intoxicated and it was related to a disturbance that happened in the past.

The caller said she and two other females had been assaulted by the suspect and had bite and scratch wounds.

I think people running around with guns and knives and God knows what in neighborhoods should be shot. — Property owner

Officers found the caller at 2:34 a.m. and were told the suspect returned to the home where the initial call was placed and that there was another woman inside. 

Manley says police officers entered the home and walked toward the kitchen while calling the suspect by name — which was captured on their body cams — when the suspect came around the corner and the officers are heard yelling "Drop the knife!"

"Immediately you can see them backing up on their body cameras, giving the command to drop the knife. She continues to walk in their direction and at that point, one officer fired his weapon and the suspect at that point does go down on the ground," said Manley.

Manley says police tried life-saving measures, but she died at the scene.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was described only as a 20-year-old Hispanic female who is believed to be related to the other people inside the home.

Manley called the shooting "tragic" and said he spoke briefly with the officer who fired his weapon and could tell the officer — who has been with APD for 3 years — was "very impacted" by what happened.

"This appears to an 20-year-old female who lost her life today and that is a tragic incident for this community and a tragic incident for our department," the chief said.

Following standard procedure, the officer has been placed on administrative leave. 

The owner of the home, Marilyn Pieroni, says those living at the residence are relatively new renters of the property. She tells KXAN she was shocked to find out what happened inside her home, but sides with police. 

"I think people running around with guns and knives and God knows what in neighborhoods should be shot. It sends a clear message to other people who might want to do it," said Pieroni.

Nearby neighbors say Thursday wasn't the first time they'd seen police at the home where the woman was shot. Several neighbors say the tenants are known to be loud and throw parties.

"There's a lot of people in and out, a lot," said one neighbor. "There's a lot of cars parked there. Several times, they were told to move some of the cars."

One neighbor also told KXAN a couple of people were fighting in front of the home earlier in the week.

A man who lives next door to the house where the woman was shot said he was woken up when a bullet went through the neighboring home's wall and into his kitchen window. He says it's unclear whether police will help him pay for the damage.

Editor's Note: APD originally said the victim was 18 years old, but corrected to say she was 20 years old.

Listen to the full police press conference

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