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Woman with knife shot to death by officers in NE Seattle

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SEATTLE - A 30-year-old woman was fatally shot by Seattle police officers near Magnuson Park Sunday morning.

The shooting occurred just before 10 a.m. on the fourth floor of an apartment building in the 6800 block of 62nd Avenue Northeast, Mark Jamieson with SPD said.

Jamieson said two officers were responding to reports of a burglary and went to the unit to meet with the person reporting the burglary. They were confronted by a woman with a knife, Jamieson said.

Investigators didn't say what prompted the officers to shoot the woman, but both officers opened fire and she was hit multiple times. Officers attempted CPR but they were unable to revive her.

Police say there were children inside of the apartment at the time.

No officers or children were injured in the shooting. Police say the kids are being cared for by family members.

The woman's sister identified her as Charleena Lyles.

Lyles was trying to get help for some mental health issues, said Monika Williams. She had just been released from jail on Wednesday, her family said.

Investigators would not go into detail about what happened, but officers arrested Lyles in early June on several charges, including obstruction and harassment, in connection with another incident at her home.

"The obstruction was she wouldn’t let go of her baby until I got here and she had some scissors in her hand. She didn’t charge nobody or nothing," said Williams. "She just told them to call my sister and tell my sister gets here. And then when I got here, I told them then. ‘Cause they didn’t know whether to take her to jail or take her to mental health. Take her to mental health. She has mental health issues."

Lyles' family said three of her four children were inside the home at the time of the shooting.

Lyles' brother, Domico Jones, says officers didn't have to use lethal force.

"If worse came to worse, use a Taser instead of a gun for someone that has 3 kids inside of their house," Jones said. "I feel that it’s not gonna bring no harm to nobody.”

The apartment building is an affordable housing building for families and is owned by Solid Ground, a social service organization in Seattle.

Mike Buchman, Communications Director for the company, says the'll be working to communicate what happened to other residents as soon as possible. The company says trauma counselors are available for residents in need.

The complex includes 9 properties and houses about 400 residents. About half of those residents are minors, Buchman says.

In a statement Sunday evening, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said shooting was a tragedy and called for a full investigation.

"My thoughts are with the many people impacted, including the three children and the responding officers," Murray said.

"Our historic police reforms, from de-escalation training to civilian-monitored force review, are in place to address such crises. This will be fully investigated. The quality and integrity of the investigation will be reviewed by the federal monitoring team supervising our consent decree. We will work collectively with our consent decree partners and the Community Police Commission to ensure transparency throughout this process and offer support where needed," Murray added.

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Seattle police said both officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave, per department policy.

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