Woman shot after aiming drill at police


A 19-year-old woman who was shot and killed by a San Jose police officer Thursday morning was armed with a cordless drill and not the Uzi described in initial reports, police said Thursday evening.

Officers had responded at 10:36 a.m. to the 700 block of Blossom Hill Road on a report of a woman with an Uzi-style firearm who was threatening to kill family members inside a home, San Jose police said.

Police tried to negotiate with the woman several times and after she exited the home with the reported weapon, she did not comply with officers’ verbal commands to drop it, police said. She then pointed the weapon, which was later determined to be a cordless drill painted flat black, directly at officers, police said.

She was shot at least once on a westbound lane of Blossom Hill by Officer Wakana Okuma, a 13-year veteran of the force, and was transported to a hospital, Morales said.

The woman was pronounced dead at 12:39 p.m. Her name has not yet been released, police said Thursday evening.

Thien Nguyen, 22, who lives close to the woman’s home, said that he was asleep during the shooting this morning, but that after going outside he saw what appeared to be a “black drill” lying in the street.

Nguyen said that a man who owns the home recently relocated there after the death of a tenant renting the unit and that Nguyen had seen him in his garage working with power tools:

“The guy who owns (the woman’s residence) was renovating it, so he had lots of tools inside there.”

Police Officer Albert Morales said earlier today that he did not know if family members were in the house with the woman prior to the shooting, but said that neither family members nor officers were injured in the incident.

Morales said officers were very concerned about the report that a possible Uzi weapon that might be used to harm the woman’s family members:

“I think we all know what an Uzi is and how much damage that can cause.”

Richard Garcia, 34, didn’t see the shooting but heard it and saw the woman being loaded onto a gurney by first responders afterward:

“I heard the shot, it went ‘Boom.'”

Garcia said police officers were very aggressive in seeking potential witnesses who might have filmed or photographed the incident.

The police department’s homicide unit is investigating the shooting and Okuma has been placed on routine administrative leave.’ Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call (408) 277-5283. Anonymous tips can be left on the Crime Stoppers tip line at (408) 947-STOP.

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