Lakewood Police Officers responded to 3213 83rd Street South #26, at 9:18 AM on February 14th, 2011 for a report of a domestic violence call with a knife. The 45 year old female reportee had called 911 to say that she was arguing with her domestic partner, who she described as a 46 year old female. She had fled the residence and had advised 911 that she would be waiting outside a few houses away.
An arriving police unit located the female victim standing outside on the street and made contact with her to get details on what had happened. The female told the officer that she was arguing with her partner and that she had been punched in the face. She said that her partner was still in the house and was armed with a knife.
Officers had taken up positions in front of the residence when the suspect female opened the door and stepped out onto the porch. She was not armed with a knife or a gun at that time. The suspect yelled for the officers to “shoot her” and repeated this several times. The suspect then made a comment about going back into the house to get something. The suspect went into the house and came back out with a pistol in her hand. She was carrying the gun in her hand, at her side, as she approached the officers. The officers’ on-scene gave multiple verbal commands for the suspect to drop the weapon, to which she replied, “No!” The suspect then raised the weapon and pointed it at the officers. Three Lakewood Officers fired their weapons at her and she collapsed. Medical Aid was requested and she was later pronounced deceased at the scene. The 27 year old daughter of the suspect was inside the residence when the domestic and shooting occurred. She was not hurt in either incident.
A total of nine (9) shots were fired by the three officers. One officer that fired is a sergeant with 24 years of law enforcement experience and another one of the officers that fired has16 years of law enforcement experience. The third officer that fired his weapon has 11 years of law enforcement experience and all three officers have been with the police department since it was formed in 2004. All three officers have been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy while the investigation is conducted.
Investigators from the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office responded along with the Pierce County Medical Examiner. Lakewood PD Detectives conducted the investigation with assistance from the Cooperative Cities Crime Response Unit. Information on the cause of death will not be released until the Medical Examiner completes their investigation.
The LPD investigation so far has revealed that the suspect and the victim have been domestic partners for approximately 10-12 years and lived together at the residence. The suspect has five children in various locations of the United States. The 27 year old daughter and an 11 year old son lived at the residence. The 11year old son was not home at the time of the incident. The suspect has been identified as Carolyn Moran-Hernandez. Lakewood Police responded to this address on 03-10-09 for a domestic violence call involving the two females from today’s incident. We also responded to the address on 09-03-10 for an overdose call.
The weapon that was pointed at the officers by the suspect is a Crosman .177 caliber BB Pistol and is manufactured to look very much like a large caliber handgun. We have included pictures of the actual weapon with this press release.
It continues to be a concern of law enforcement that these types of non-lethal weapons are manufactured to look like real large caliber weapons. These types of weapons continue to be used in similar types of situations and other crimes such as robbery and assault. Officers have only a split second to analyze the threat when a weapon is pointed at them and these types of weapons make it extremely difficult to assess that threat based on their realism.
More details on the investigation will be released once they become available.