CINCINNATI - Emotions ran high in the parking lot of Park Valley Apartments in Mount Airy as family mourned the loss of Erica Collins, 26, who police said was shot twice by one of their own Saturday afternoon.
"Her spirit was so big, I still feel it," the victim's sister Chiquanna Jefferson said. "That's how much of a good person she was, and you tell me the police said my sister came out of the house with a knife in her hand."
Police said the officer who fired the two fatal shots initially responded to the apartments for a domestic dispute going on between two sisters. The officer who fired the shots said Collins was spotted with what looked like a butcher knife. The officer told investigators she wouldn't put it down when he asked her to.
"I am not certain whether the disputant lunged or charged the officer after he expressed and told her to drop the weapon," Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig said.
A neighbor said that was not the case.
"She was standing right there, she was not even paying attention to the cop," a neighbor said. "She was standing there with her family members and he shot her for no reason in her head."
"I would ask the community to withhold judgment," Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory said. "As we receive information we will release that information. This will be a transparent investigation."
However, Collins' family wants answers.
"They told us the cops shot her twice in the head," the victim's aunt LaSoaya Collins said. "He could have shot her in the arm, leg or something. I don't know why he had to go for the head. Tase her or something."
"We don't normally ask officers to use a Taser if they're encountered with deadly force," Cincinnati City Councilman Cecil Thomas said. "Usually officers are expected to use Taser in verbal altercations where there's a threat, but no threat of deadly force."
The Collins family set up a memorial fund with Fifth Third Bank on Monday.
The Hamilton County coroner said they will conduct an autopsy Sunday morning.
The officer involved in the shooting is on leave. This is standard protocol while an investigation is conducted.
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