A Navajo woman was shot and killed by police on Easter Sunday after apparently threatening an officer with a weapon in Winslow, Arizona.
Loreal Juana Barnell-Tsingine, 27, was shot five times after an altercation that began with a shoplifting call at a Circle K at around 4 p.m. Officers located a woman matching the description of the suspect a few blocks away from the convenience store and a struggle ensued.
An officer, who has not been identified by name, said Tsingine displayed a weapon that posed a “substantial threat.” Police have not divulged what the weapon was, though family members claim Tsingine was armed only with a pair of scissors.
“While attempting to take the subject into custody, a struggle ensued,” the Winslow Police Department states in a press release. “At this time, the subject displayed a weapon which presented a substantial threat to the officer. The officer discharged his weapon resulting in the unfortunate death.” Tsingine was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, the department’s press release states.
Detectives from the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Major Crimes District are conducting an investigation, DPS spokesman Raul Garcia said in a statement. He declined to provide any additional information.
Winslow Police said more information will be released as the investigation develops.
“We are confident that the DPS will be (conducting a) thorough and unbiased investigation,” the press release states. “The Winslow Police Dept. wishes to express our deepest sympathies to Miss Tsingine’s family, the officers and the community of Winslow.”
In a statement, the family said Tsingine was a mother, daughter, sister, cousin niece and friend.
“She was loved by so many,” the family shared with ICTMN. “There are no words to describe the pain in our hearts.”
The family has set up a crowdfunding account for Tsingine’s funeral expenses. Donate here.