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Phoenix police say veteran officer shot, killed mentally ill woman

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A mentally ill woman was shot and killed by a Phoenix police sergeant at an apartment complex in the city after she threatened officers with a claw hammer, police officials said on Friday.

Michelle Cusseaux, 50, was killed on Thursday by a single gunshot at the threshold of her apartment as officers were attempting to serve an emergency court order to take her to a mental health facility, Phoenix police spokesman Sergeant Tommy Thompson said.

Officers came face-to-face with a hammer-wielding Cusseaux when she opened the front door just as officers were able to get through a security door, Thompson said. He said she then raised the hammer and went at the officers.

Cusseaux was shot by a Phoenix police sergeant at close range and was pronounced dead later at a local hospital, he said.

The sergeant, whose name was not immediately released, was put on administrative leave as part of department policy. He is a 19-year Phoenix police veteran.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jim Loney)

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