A Maryland woman called police early Sunday morning to report an intruder, and when cops showed up to her darkened house she screamed and pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the officers until they shot her dead in an apparent instance of suicide-by-cop.
Investigators said Christine A. Lucas, 45, left behind what appeared to be a suicide note, according to FOX45. The details of the letter were not disclosed. Lucas had reportedly not taken an unnamed prescribed medication for the past several weeks and authorities said her family had financial difficulties.
The electricity in Lucas’ Rising Sun house had been turned off, perhaps for as long as four months, FOX45 reported. The unlit home may have helped contribute to officers’ confusion when they arrived at 2 a.m. Sunday. Cops forced their way inside when they heard a woman screaming, turned on their flashlights, announced they were police and were soon confronted with Lucas seated in a chair.
Police say Lucas did not respond to any commands and she soon picked up a gun from her lap. At the time, officers said they believed the gun was real. They later discovered it was an airsoft gun painted black.
Officers instructed Lucas to put the gun down and identified themselves again as police, officials said, at which point Lucas told the cops they weren’t the “real police.”
When she then reportedly raised her gun at officers, the troopers fired, ultimately killing Lucas. One of the officers, a trained flight paramedic, attempted to provide care while emergency services were en route, officials said. Despite the efforts, Lucas was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lucas’ 15-year-old son was sleeping upstairs when the shooting occurred. The son, who was unharmed, later told police his mom woke him up earlier in the night, handed him a duffel bag with his clothes, told him where to find his birth certificate and said she loved him, authorities said.
Lucas’ husband was not home at the time of the incident.
The troopers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave while the State Police Homicide Unit investigates the shooting.