So said New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill to a crowd of reporters in New York City on Wednesday. O’Neill was answering questions about the shooting death of a 66-year-old woman who was described as “emotionally disturbed.”
The woman was known to officers in the area and was holding a pair of scissors when the unidentified responding officer reached her on Tuesday night. After the officer convinced her to drop the pair of scissors she grabbed a baseball bat and took a swing at the officer, who then shot her in the stomach.
“Every life to me is precious,” O’Neill told reporters on Tuesday.
“I think that we’ve been in this business a very long time, we’ve established procedures and protocols for handling emotionally disturbed people. That’s to keep everybody safe, that’s to keep the cops safe, the community safe and the person that we’re dealing with safe.”
According to the commissioner, the responding officer did not deploy his taser and instead implemented deadly force. An investigation will soon seek to find out why.
According to the Washington Post, the unidentified woman was “at least the 771st person shot by a police officer this year.”
Mayor Bill De Blasio sent a message on Twitter about the incident and wrote to his followers that the city was “determined to get to the bottom of what happened.”