SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) – The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday it has determined two officers acted in self-defense when they shot and killed a suicidal woman armed with an aluminum bat in Santa Clara last year.
Deborah Colbert, 53, was shot and killed by Santa Clara police Sgt. Alan Wolf and Officer Andrew McGuire at her Riverwood Place apartment at 5090 Lick Mill Blvd. on April 13, 2014, when she allegedly attacked them while intoxicated and had pills in her system, prosecutors said.
Colbert had called police dispatch shortly before 5 p.m. that day asking for officers to shoot her and threatened to strike any responding officers with a bat, according to the district attorney’s office.
When officers arrived, they attempted to establish communication with Colbert through her front door and asked her to peacefully exit her home, prosecutors said.
The officers heard loud noises coming from inside the apartment and did not know if someone inside needed aid, according to prosecutors.
Wolf tried to open the door with a key he got from the apartment manager but was unsuccessful. Colbert then came out of the apartment and allegedly rushed toward them with the bat raised over her head, prosecutors said.
After she failed to follow their commands to put the bat down, the two officers fired at her. She was struck by the gunfire and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.
Wolf had served more than 25 years with the department and McGuire had been with the department for a little over a year at the time of the shooting, police said.
They were placed on paid administrative leave following the fatal shooting, according to police.
In a 17-page report released today by the district attorney’s office, an autopsy on Colbert revealed she suffered from three gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma and had a blood-alcohol content level of .66, which is eight times the legal limit to drive, prosecutors said.
In his statement to the district attorney’s office, McGuire said he was at Colbert’s apartment eight days before and she was “hostile” to him and was transported by medical personnel to receive emergency psychiatric services, according to the report.
She had a previous criminal history that includes time served for burglary, being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance, the report states.
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