Woman With Flashlight Killed By Police In Western New York
The last few days in this Buffalo suburb have been pretty scary for area residents. Twice in the last few weeks, there has been a heavy police presence in or around the Willet Road / McKinley Parkway neighborhood.
In late January, officers from the Hamburg SWAT team were called to the area to deal with a domestic situation that resulted in a man, who was alleged to have been armed with some weapon, being taken into custody by Hamburg officers.
On February 2, 2024, the Hamburg Police Department responded to a call that resulted in a 34-year-old woman being shot to death by the officer(s).
What We Do Know So Far About The Police Killing In Hamburg
The officer-involved shooting resulted in the death of a 34-year-old woman from Jamestown, New York, named Lisa Haight. So far, here is what we know:
- Around 10:30 am on Friday, 2/2/24, Officers were called to Willet Road in response to a burglary in progress at a residence. When officers arrived on the scene, they did not find a suspect but did get a description from the homeowner. The homeowner told police that he had physically removed Haight from his property.
- During their investigation and according to the Hamburg Police Department, officers were able to track the suspect to a residence on McKinley Parkway where the suspect was found naked in a bathroom while trying to with a knife in a bathtub.
- According to the police report, when officers tried to take Haight into custody, she "resisted violently" and "lunged forward" while grabbing at an object.
- The report goes on to say that officers tried to de-escalate the situation when Haight made "stabbing and slashing motions with the object in her hand" towards the officers "which struck one officer in the leg and a slashing motion near and across his face."
- It's at that point where one of the officers fired three shots from his weapon, which stuck Haight.
- Officers administered first aid to Haight until EMS arrived, where she was declared dead.
Since the shooting, more information has become available to Hamburg Police and Western New Yorkers in general.
- When Hamburg officers encountered Haight, it was alleged that she was the perpetrator of a violent stabbing that occurred in a vehicle traveling on I-90 earlier that morning.
- The vehicle proceeded to Mercy Hospital in south Buffalo for the victim to receive treatment.
- The officers who responded on Willet Road did not know about this incident.
- Officers noted in their reports that Haight had a knife and attempted to slash them, but she was, in fact, in possession of a flashlight.
- The officers, whose names or other information has not yet been released, have been placed on administrative leave.
In a press conference on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, Peter Dienes, Town of Hamburg Police Chief, noted that he believed the shooting to be fully justified.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James has issued a statement saying that The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) has opened an investigation into the shooting.
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