LAKEWOOD: Officers’ shooting of woman justified

Three Lakewood police officers were justified in shooting a woman who pointed what appeared to be a semiautomatic pistol at one of them earlier this year, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.

Carolyn Moran-Hernandez, 47, died Feb. 14 after confronting Sgt. Michael Noel and officers Matthew Brown and Darrin Latimer as they responded to a domestic-violence call.

A woman called 911 to report Moran-Hernandez had assaulted her and was armed with a knife, according to prosecutors. Police arrived in the 3200 block of 83rd Street South to find Moran-Hernandez on the front porch of a house.

She yelled obscenities at the officers and told them to shoot her before going inside and returning with a black handgun, which she then pointed at Brown, prosecutors said.

The three officers opened fire, killing her. Investigators later discovered the pistol was a BB gun manufactured to look like a real firearm.

“This appears to be a case where the deceased committed ‘suicide-by-cop,’” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “She forced the officers to shoot by pointing a gun at one of the officers.”

Adam Lynn, staff writer