Elaine Coleman, 20

Hawthorne, California
September 09, 2007

Agencies: Hawthorne Police Department California | Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department California LASD

Cause of death: Shooting

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Last updated: almost 4 years ago


Elaine Coleman, 20, a black woman, was shot in the torso and arm by Hawthorne police officers at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9 at 14427 South Lemoli Ave. in Hawthorne, and died in minutes.

The officers were responding to a family-dispute call, according to Sheriff's Det. Todd Anderson. He gave this account:

Coleman had locked herself in a room with her 4-year-old daughter and box cutters. She was refusing to come out.

Officers met her mother at the scene, and went to the door of the room. Coleman, apparently upset over a breakup, told them not to come in and threatened to kill her daughter. The officers, both men in their 30s, broke open the door. One fired a Taser, hitting Coleman.

The taser did not incapacitate her. Instead, Coleman began stabbing her 4-year-old daughter. The officers jumped on her. She stabbed them. Both were cut several times. In the midst of the melee, Coleman resumed stabbing her daughter. One of the officers then shot and killed her.

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