AUBURN, Ala.- A few days after Melissa Boarts of Montgomery was shot by Auburn Police in Macon County, their attorney released a statement regarding the incident.
In the statement, Boarts’ family says they called 911 for help because Melissa was threatening to harm herself with a pocket knife.
Auburn Police responded to the call. They made contact with her on I-85 South toward Macon County. Police say they followed the vehicle to Red Creek Road where it stopped. Once there, Auburn Police Captain Lorenza Dorsey says the driver exited the vehicle and charged at the officers with a weapon. Captain Dorsey added that the officers feared for their safety and used deadly force.
Captain Dorsey added that this is the first time in more than 40 years that an Auburn Police officer had to use deadly force. Captain Dorsey added that the officers were trained and recently trained on mental health, adding that “they depend on their training to make sound decisions. It’s very unfortunate. It’s very tragic of course for the family and for the officers family and the officer involved.”
The family’s attorney, Julian McPhillips says there will be many attempts to defend the officers in this case. He says what was done was extremely unjustified. “I mean she’s only 5′ 4″ and 130 pounds and she had a pocket knife and was going to maybe cut her wrists and she was suicidal,” McPhillips said. “All these cars were chasing her on the interstate only because the parents had alerted them that she was maybe dangerous to herself and rather than helping her, they put a bullet in her.”
Captain Dorsey says all evidence in the case has been submitted to the SBI and the officers involved are on paid administrative leave until the investigation is over.