BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hamburg police identified the woman fatally shot by an officer Friday following multiple home break-ins and an altercation with authorities as 36-year-old Lisa Haight of Jamestown.
The shooting took place around 11 a.m. when police responded to a report of a burglary on Willet Road. The burglary victim told them a woman, now identified as Haight, broke into her home and then escaped into the surrounding woods, according to police.
Police said Haight then broke into a second residence on McKinley Parkway, where officers encountered her inside the home’s bathroom and an altercation ensued, which resulted in an officer firing his weapon and striking the woman. Officers administered first aid until EMS arrived, but Haight was declared dead at the scene.
Authorities also confirmed Saturday that a short time before the shooting, Haight was riding in a van on I-90 and “repeatedly and without provocation” stabbed a passenger in the vehicle, causing serious injuries to the victim’s face, shoulder and head. Haight then exited the van shortly before the first burglary.
The victim of the stabbing was rushed to a local hospital to receive treatment. There was no update on their condition provided by police.
Retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Bernie Tolbert said the officers involved in the altercation had to make a difficult decision regarding the use of deadly force.
“You don’t have time to think about is this the right thing?” Tolbert said. “You don’t want to give someone the advantage of being able to harm you. The use of deadly force, you do that to protect yourself or an innocent bystander when you have good reason to believe that your life is in danger.”
As with all officer-involved shootings, the New York State Attorney General’s Office has opened a probe into the incident and said Friday a knife was recovered at the scene where Haight was shot.
“You want to make sure you can continue the public trust in your department, that we do the right thing and we do it the right way,” Tolbert said.
The officer who shot the suspect has been placed on administrative leave, police confirmed.
“People will sometimes suggest that there’s a negative connotation to that, but not necessarily,” Tolbert said. “I don’t think anyone starts their day off thinking that, I might shoot someone today or worse, kill someone that day. So for the officer’s own well-being, you want to make sure that he or she has been taken care of.”
As a result of the shooting, McKinley Parkway was closed for several hours Friday between Lake Avenue and Willet Road, just east of I-90. The roads were reopened around 6 p.m.
Police said they are working toward releasing a complete overview of the investigation and events and anticipate another update on Tuesday.
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