For release on May 28, 2015   CONTACT:
James Gibbons-Shapiro
Assistant District Attorney
(408) 792-2985   D.A. REPORT: SANTA CLARA OFFICERS LAWFULLY SHOT AND KILLED WOMAN WHO ATTACKED THEM WITH ALUMINUM BAT   The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that Santa Clara police officers last year lawfully shot and killed a suicidal, mentally ill, and highly-intoxicated woman who attacked them with an aluminum bat.   Deborah Colbert, 53, told dispatchers that she wanted the police officers to shoot her, and that she would use the bat to bash in the heads of officers who responded.  Officers had responded to help Colbert and to make sure she was not hurting anyone else when she suddenly rushed toward them in a narrow hallway with the bat raised over her head.   In a 17-page report, Assistant District Attorney James Gibbons-Shapiro determined that “The officers acted with restraint in the face of a situation that was dangerous and volatile, and then with justified force to defend themselves when attacked.”   The District Attorney’s Office investigates all fatal law enforcement encounters to determine if the lethal force was legal. By law, officers are allowed to use deadly force when faced with imminent danger.   On April 13, 2014 at approximately 4:52 p.m., three officers responded to Colbert’s Lick Mill Boulevard apartment after her suicidal 911 call.    The officers attempted to contact Colbert through her door, commanding her to peacefully exit. Police then tried to enter, hearing loud noises and unsure if there was someone else in the residence who needed immediate aid. As an officer tried to open the door, Colbert – wielding the bat - burst from the apartment into the narrow hallway. After unsuccessfully commanding her to drop the bat, Officer Andrew McGuire and Sgt. Alan Wolf fired their weapons, killing Colbert with three shots.   An autopsy showed that Colbert had a blood-alcohol level of .66, more than eight times the legal limit to drive.                         # # #

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