Officer kills woman carrying scissors ‘aggressively’

Woman’s cousin asks why Bossier City police used lethal force
A large police presence is seen at a Bossier City hotel on Friday.
A large police presence is seen at a Bossier City hotel on Friday.(Maranda Whittington)
Updated: Oct. 26, 2019 at 1:29 PM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — Bossier City police have released the name of the woman who died after being shot by an officer.

Authorities got a call before 6 a.m. Friday about a disturbance LaQuinta Inn in the 300 block of Preston Boulevard.

Initial reports from the scene indicated that 45-year-old Shannon Rupert was armed with a knife.

Authorities later said she was waving around a pair of scissors while on the phone in the lobby of the hotel where she was staying.

A Police Department news release states:

“The officer gave multiple verbal commands to Rupert to put down the weapon. Rupert then aggressively approached the officer with scissors in hand. The officer fired two rounds from his department-issued handgun, striking Rupert in the upper torso.”

— Bossier City Police Department

Rupert was taken to a Shreveport hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her cousin Melinda Peterson wonders why police used lethal force.

"What I am disputing is why they could not have used a Taser instead or the dummy bullets because those dummy bullets will knock you down.”

It is not yet clear whether Bossier City police officers are issued Tasers.

Peterson, who shared photographs with KSLA News 12 of Rupert during happier times, said she feared this day would come but how her cousin’s death unfolded is not what she expected.

She suspects that Rupert, who is survived by a young son, might have been under the influence of drugs and did not realize what she was doing Friday morning.

“I knew she had been into drugs really bad. I tried helping her. I tried talking to her to see if maybe we could get her some help, a recourse. Getting her into rehab or anything like that. She was just out of it,” said Peterson, who underwent her final chemotherapy treatment this week for breast cancer.

Bossier City spokeswoman Traci Landry said the officer who shot Rupert was not injured. The city has not yet released that officer’s name.

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