Arizona Police Shoot and Kill Mentally Ill Woman Wielding a Hammer

A police officer shot and killed 50-year-old Michelle Cusseaux at her apartment while responding to a mental health call.

Cusseax suffered from serious mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and her mother, Frances Garrett, asked Southwest Behavioral Health Services to place her daughter in an in-patient facility for fear that Michelle might have been a threat to herself or others.

When police arrived, Cusseaux was holding a hammer in a manner police deemed threatening. That encounter ended with police shooting and killing the woman.

At a rally held for her daughter, Garrett explained, "I can't believe this. I'm asking for help for my daughter, who has a mental issue, and ... the help ended her life. That's hard to believe."

Garret is requesting a mayoral review of her daughter's case and better police training on how to deal with those who have mental illness.

Watch the full story below.

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or


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