Charleena Lyles, the 30-year-old mother who was shot to death by Seattle police on June 18, filled her Facebook page with photos of her children.
Tragically, three of Lyles’ children, including one with Down syndrome, were in the apartment when two police officers shot Lyles in the chest and abdomen. Lyles’ sister says Charleena was pregnant, and her family told The Seattle Times that Lyles had mental health issues.
Lyles had called police to make a burglary complaint.
Seattle police contend that Lyles was bearing a knife when they arrived, sparking the shooting, but Lyles’ shooting death has caused community outrage, with many asking why officers couldn’t have just tased the slight mother of four. People are also outraged that Lyles called police for help and ended up shot. Police say the shooting death is under investigation.
Police acknowledged that children were present in the apartment when the shooting unfolded, although it’s not clear whether they actually witnessed it. Police officers were witnessed carrying children away from the scene.
Lyles’ Facebook page is basically an ode to her children, as it is filled with photos of Lyles with them.
“Officers arrived and went to the fourth floor to meet with the complainant. Officers were confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed with a knife. Both officers fired their duty weapons, striking the woman. The officers immediately performed first aid while the Seattle Fire Department responded, but the fire department declared the woman deceased once they arrived,” the Seattle police said.
The Stranger interviewed a neighbor, Lhora Murray, 42, who said “police handed her two of the victim’s children—a 10-year-old and the toddler with down syndrome.” She told The Stranger that the 10-year-old told her, “They shot my mom.”
Lyles had once been featured as a positive success story from welfare to work.
On Facebook, Lyles posted graphics about motherhood.
She also posted about religion, writing on Facebook, “i am a child of god.”
You can read more about Charleena Lyles here: