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Woman Fatally Shot by Officers

By Collette Bender

What began as a stolen vehicle incident became an officer-involved shooting when a woman leveled a .45 caliber handgun at Metro police early Saturday morning.  Sharmel T. Edwards, 49, was hit multiple times by officers and died at the scene.

At about 2 a.m.  Saturday morning, a man called police to report his 2001 Cadillac stolen and told police there was a weapon in the console.  In about an hour and a half, police encountered Ms. Edwards near Torrey Pines Drive and Smoke Ranch Boulevard.  She was eventually pulled over in an alley near the 2300 block of North Jones Boulevard.  Officers, accompanied by a crisis-intervention team, issued the woman verbal commands for half an hour as she sat with the driver side window partially rolled down.

At about 4:17 a.m. she exited the vehicle and, ignoring the officers’ commands, lifted the firearm and pointed it at them.  Five officers opened fire, striking Ms. Edwards.  The officers involved have been named as Melvyn F. English, 43; Todd G. Edwards, 31; Christopher M. Grivas, 31; Matthew J. Cook, 43; and Truong T. Thai, 38.  The officers have been placed on routine paid administrative leave while the matter is being investigated.  Deputy Chief Kathy O’Connor said it is currently unknown whether bullets from all five officers struck Ms. Edwards.  The County Coroner’s Office listed her death as a homicide, due to multiple gunshot wounds.

The .45 caliber handgun was found next to the woman’s body.  Prior to this incident, Ms. Edwards had no major criminal history in Las Vegas.