Watch: Tenn. Officer Fatally Shoots Woman Carrying Ax

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Gallatin, Tenn., police released body-cam footage that shows the fatal shooting of Laronda Sweatt, 40, who approached the responding officer while carrying an ax.
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Gallatin, Tenn., police released graphic body-cam footage that shows an officer fatally shooting a woman who police claim had already attacked a Sumner County, Tenn., sheriff's deputy with an ax.

According to a preliminary investigation, Laronda Sweatt, 40, allegedly attacked Sumner County Sheriff's Office Deputy Gary Pickard after he and several members of the local housing authority showed up at her home to serve her with an eviction notice around 9 a.m. Wednesday, The Tennessean reports.


Pickard called for backup, and Sweatt was reportedly still wielding the ax when several officers from the Gallatin Police Department arrived on the scene.

"In the video, which was captured from a camera on officer James Spray's vest as well as other footage from another officer, Spray is seen telling a woman wielding an ax to stop approaching multiple times, then Spray is seen shooting the woman," the newspaper reports.

A statement that the Police Department released to The Tennessean claims that Sweatt was still moving toward the officers while carrying the ax when Spray fired two shots, both of which struck Sweatt.

"From my understanding, there were two shots fired,” Gallatin Police Chief Don Bandy said. "Our officers were actually doing CPR on Ms. Sweatt. They were trying to assist until EMS got here. To my understanding, she was pronounced dead at the hospital."


Sweatt's daughter, Alainna Sweatt, told The Tennessean that the police released "half of the story that the police wants you to see."

"Before they start judging, people should see the entire, unedited video so they can make their own conclusions," Alainna Sweatt, 22, told the newspaper. "This is not doing my mother any justice. She was not a person who was out there to attack police officers. She was provoked."


Warning: The following video contains graphic footage that some may find disturbing.

Read more at The Tennessean

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