After calling 911 about an armed intruder inside her home, police say, Susan Muller sneaked up on responding officers and attacked.
Officers with the New York Police Department say they shot and killed the 54-year-old woman after she lunged at them with a 10-inch knife, according to The New York Post. The officers were searching for the alleged intruder that Muller had earlier called 911 about, police say, and the woman came at them with a kitchen knife once they got inside her house in Queens, New York City.
Dermot Shea, the chief of detectives for the New York Police Department, said that “a total of 50 seconds passed from the arrival (of the officers) to shots fired,” according to The New York Daily News.
Shea said that after Muller pulled out a knife, one officer told her to put the weapon down — but she didn’t listen, according to CBS New York.
“We know this because there was body camera video,” Shea said said, according to CBS New York. “Subsequently, one officer discharges his service weapon three times, striking the female in the torso.”
Next-door-neighbor Young Kim said there was “no yelling” and “no fighting” before the gunshots rang out, according to The New York Daily News. Then, Kim told the outlet he heard four gunshots in quick succession and “got scared.”
Muller was killed on the scene, according to WABC. Shea called it “a tragedy all the way around.”
“Our officers receive extensive training but what you saw here tonight is how quickly things can develop,” he said, according to WABC.
Edward Rogers — who lived with Muller, his girlfriend — said he was not at home during the shooting, WABC reported.
He said that Muller sometimes had delusions but added that he remembers his deceased girlfriend “as a very caring and lovable person.”
“I could not see her getting volatile with the police,” Rogers told WABC, “but I wasn’t here when it happened.”
Kim said that Muller was “paranoid” and had started fights with her boyfriend in the past, The New York Daily News reported. He said alcohol could also have contributed to the situation.
“The police have come a few times,” he said, according to The New York Daily News. “The police and an ambulance came a few days ago.”
And Kevin Tang, another neighbor, said that the couple “yelled a lot.”
“I heard them yell pretty frequently,” Tang said, according to CBS New York. “They did keep to themselves. They just didn’t keep the noise to themselves.”