by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

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February 23, 2007
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Sheriff: Woman took aim at officer who shot her

Conflicting 911 calls preceded a shooting on Marian Drive in which a Carson City woman armed with a handgun was shot and killed by a deputy Thursday night.

According to Carson City Sheriff's Department records, 911 dispatchers received at least three phone calls concerning a 36-year-old woman at 1813 Marian Ave. Her name is being withheld until next of kin is notified.

Sheriff Ken Furlong said the first call came from the woman herself at 10:23 p.m. where she requested an ambulance and expressed a desire to harm herself. That call was disconnected, and a dispatcher was able to reach her again at which time the woman stated she was fine and didn't need any help.

A short time later, a man called to request that deputies come to the house. Another caller reported the woman told them she was being held at gunpoint by someone inside the home.

When five officers arrived at 10:26 p.m. and began questioning a man, the woman allegedly pulled out a .40 cal. handgun and pointed it at officers.

"The deputies were immediately forced back outside," Furlong said.

He said the woman followed officers to the doorway and continued pointing the weapon.

"(She) ignored repeated commands to drop the handgun, which was equipped with a laser sight," said Furlong. "When she took aim at one of the officers, he opened fire."

Furlong said the officer fired his weapon twice. It's unclear how many shots hit the woman. He said that from the time officers arrived and the shooting occurred, 10 minutes had passed. He said the deputy's name is being withheld in light of the ongoing investigation.

Immediately following the shootings, officers grabbed the woman's body and dragged her two houses away where paramedics tried unsuccessfully to save her. She was pronounced dead at the scene with a gunshot wound to the head.

Four men inside the home were questioned and released.

Neighbor Josh Ragan, 17, said he sometimes heard his next-door neighbors arguing, but he didn't hear anything Thursday night before hearing the shooting.

"This just seemed like a normal night," he said.

About 11:15 p.m., he said, officers banged on his door and told him and his three friends they had to evacuate the house.

The police then had the teens run one by one across the street into a neighbor's home. At least two other homes nearby were also evacuated while the Carson City SWAT Team cleared the house.

Ragan, a Carson High School student, said the shooting victim was friendly whenever he saw her outside.

"She was very nice. She would always say, 'hi,' when she'd come by and ask how school was," he said.

Dan Lahair, an ex-boyfriend of the victim, said he didn't believe she intended to hurt police.

"She wouldn't hurt a fly," he said Friday. "She's too great a girl. She wouldn't do anything like that."

According to Trooper Chuck Allen, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Public Safety, personnel from the state's investigation division received a call to respond and spent the remainder of the night securing the scene, conducting interviews and collecting evidence.

He said that once the Department of Public Safety concludes its investigation, the findings will be forwarded to the Carson City District Attorney's Office for review.

The last officer-involved shooting was Feb. 1 when a deputy was shot in the hand during the service of a search warrant.

In November 2002, a 31-year-old man was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire with sheriff's deputies after the man shot his estranged girlfriend in her Stanford Drive garage. The woman survived her injuries.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 24, 2007 02:55AM Published Feb 23, 2007 03:00AM Copyright 2007 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.