A 38-year-old woman has died in a police shooting in Saugus, Massachusetts, after she allegedly confronted officers with a knife at a home in Saugus, Massachusetts, authorities announced.
The Essex County District Attorney's Office and State police investigators responded Saturday evening to the incident involving Saugus police on Alfred Road. The district attorney said an adult female was killed in the incident that unfolded just after 4:30 p.m. She was identified Sunday as Stephanie Gerardi, 38, of Saugus.
According to the DA, three Saugus police officers had responded to the Alfred Road address after being requested to assist with a family member in distress.
The officers entered the home upon their arrival and were confronted by Gerardi brandishing a knife, the district attorney said. One of the officers fired his duty weapon three times, striking Gerardi.
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The officers immediately rendered aid, as did EMS, which was already on scene due to the nature of the call, but Gerardi died from her injuries. The district attorney said the officers were uninjured but were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
Per department policy, the officer who shot Gerardi has been placed on administrative leave. His name has not been released.
Friends and family of Gerardi tell NBC10 Boston she had several kids. They are saddened and shocked by what happened.
"My cousin!," Marcella Gerardi said through tears. "We were just here a couple weeks ago hanging out with her and all the kids."
Marcella said the family has been through a lot.
"They're nice people, they're great people, they've been through a lot," she said. "Just pray for the family. That's it. Just be there for them and pray for them. They're great people."
Annette Guarino lives nearby and said all she heard Saturday evening was police cars.
"It was so many police cars," she recalled.
Guarino said this kind of thing never happens in the neighborhood.
"Everybody's just scared. They're very shocked that it's never happened in this neighborhood," she said. "I've been here since 1994 and nothing's ever happened. Nothing."
Guarino and other neighbors want to know exactly what happened, how a distress call to police turned deadly.
"Try to find out the root cause of what happened and see how we can fix it for the future," another woman said.
Members of the Essex County State Police Detective Unit and the MSP Crime Scene and Ballistics units are investigating the shooting.
The district attorney said his office will release its findings to the public once the investigation is completed. No timeline was given.