A 24-year-old Arizona mother was shot and killed by Yuma County sheriff's deputies Tuesday after officers showed up in response to a report of a domestic disturbance, the Yuma Sun reports.
According to Yuma Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Lori Franklin, the incident unfolded Tuesday evening. Deputies knocked on the front door, intending to speak to Melissa Ventura. However, upon opening the door, the young mother allegedly attacked the deputies with a knife, which resulted in deputies firing their weapons.
Ventura was rushed to a nearby medical center but was later pronounced dead. The YPD is investigating the shooting and will turn over its findings to the Yuma County Attorney's Office, which will then determine whether the shooting was justified.
The deputies were not harmed during the altercation and have since been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, sheriff's-office spokesman Alfonso Zavala told the Sun. The names of the deputies are not being released, the Sun notes.
According to the Sun, court documents indicate that Ventura had a history of mental illness and had been arrested four times since 2011. Her latest arrest was in 2014, and she was convicted of aggravated domestic assault, the site notes.
The owner of the home said that she was across the street when the shooting occurred, mentioning that she had just spoken to Ventura the day before and didn't understand what had happened.
“I was talking to her yesterday and she was so happy because she had a baby, a 2-month-old baby, and she said she’s fine,” Maria Ramirez told KYMA. “I’m surprised; I don’t know what happened.”
“Last night I lost my sister. I don’t know what happened. She was mother of three, and she lived for her kids,” Ventura's sister, Tiffany, told the news station. “She was the heart and soul of my family.
“I don’t know what we are going to do without her; the only thing I can say is that her kids will know how much she loved them," Tiffany Ventura added.