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Christine Venegas, 38
El Paso, Texas
July 03, 2019

Agencies: El Paso Police Department Texas | Texas Department of Public Safety

Last updated: 8 months ago

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The woman killed Wednesday in a SWAT standoff sparked by an argument over food stamps at a Texas Health and Human Services office had a pellet gun, police said.

She was fatally shot after she pointed the pellet gun at El Paso police SWAT officers, officials said Thursday.

Christine Venegas, 38, entered the Texas Health and Human Services office, 5150 El Paso Drive, at about 10:18 a.m. Wednesday and began arguing with a caseworker over food stamp benefits, El Paso Police Department officials said.

Venegas then allegedly pulled out what was believed to be a handgun and threatened the caseworker and a security guard.

El Paso police officers responded to the scene and safely evacuated the building, while Venegas barricaded herself inside an office.

The El Paso Police Department’s SWAT, Crisis Management and Crisis Intervention teams responded to the scene and negotiated with Venegas to exit the office.

Venegas walked out of the office at about 3:30 p.m. and confronted officers in the building, officials said.

Officers attempted to use “less-lethal munitions” to subdue Venegas, but they did not stop her, officials said.

Venegas then allegedly raised the weapon at the officers.

An officer then shot Venegas with his patrol rifle, officials said.

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