[Justifiable Force?] Video Shows Cop Fatally Shooting Woman Carrying Ax

[Justifiable Force?] Video Shows Cop Fatally Shooting Woman Carrying Ax

Her family blames the officer for inciting her anger.

Published April 8, 2016

Laronda Sweatt, 40, was shot dead by a Gallatin police officer after she began to come after him with an ax.

The officer, James Spray, was called to Sweatt’s residence after she reportedly attacked Sumner County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Pickard. Pickard originally was on the scene in order to assist in the delivery of an eviction notice.

When Pickard delivered the notice to Sweatt, she stabbed him with a medieval ax. Soon after, Pickard called for backup and Spray arrived. When Spray exited his vehicle, Sweatt began to approach him with an ax in hand. 

In the video Spray is seen holding his gun as he exits his car and repeatedly shouts at Sweatt to drop the weapon and get on the ground; however, she does not listen and continues to walk toward the officer. Spray then fired two shots, one of which killed Sweatt.

Sweatt’s family members accuse the officer of agitating her, claiming that she had a “mental problem” and that “she was a good person. It could have been avoided, him killing her and shooting her in the chest like that.”

Officer Spray has been put on leave and will be investigated.

(Photo: WKRN-TV, ABC Local News Nashville)

Written by Rachel Herron


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