A woman who was holding her boyfriend at knife point as their 3-year-old boy was in their home was shot to death by deputies in Lake Worth Tuesday morning.
Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies were called to the home in a duplex about 2:45 a.m. by the boyfriend who was frantic, saying she was going to kill him, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
“When we arrived she had him by the shirt with a knife in hand. We told her to put the knife down repeatedly. When she turned to stab him, we shot her. In an effort to save his life, we shot,” Barbera said.
Though deputies then ran to her assistance and called paramedics, the woman, who is 24, died from her injuries.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Tuesday morning, “If the deputies had not taken the action they did she would have knifed him on the spot.”
Bradshaw said the 911 calls reveal the couple were in a “violent confrontation” and that the boyfriend was trying to get the child away from the boy’s mother. When deputies arrived, the woman let go of the child and came through the front door with her boyfriend, holding him by the shirt with one hand and a knife in the other.
“The deputies actions actually saved his life and probably, further down the road, the child’s life,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said deputies had been called before to the duplex and that the couple has had previous problems. He did not release their names, but said the woman was 24-years-old and her boyfriend is about the same age. Bradshaw also said there are possible child abuse charges pending against the woman.
The boy will likely be placed with relatives, Bradshaw said.
This is the second shooting death of 2013 in Palm Beach County. A bartender at a Boca Raton restaurant was shot and killed in a robbery Friday, Jan. 4.
Rafael Rodriguez was bartending when the restaurant was robbed by several men. The robbers took personal items, including wallets, jewelry and cellphones from the victims. As the robbers were leaving, Rodriguez exchanged words with one of them. The robber fired at Rodriguez, striking him once. Rodriguez, 46, died at a local hospital after being shot once.