Cocoa Beach Woman Pointed Gun at Police, Asked to Die, Police Use Drones to Defuse Incident

By  //  February 13, 2018

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57-year-old pulled her Kia into a Walmart parking lot just before dawn Dec. 8

Stafford County sheriff’s officers used a pair of drones to help them de-escalate a December standoff in which they said a woman armed with a pistol demanded that police kill her. (Stafford County Sheriff’s office image)

WASHINGTON POST – Burdened by mounting health, job and family troubles, a Florida woman took to the road and headed north from her Cocoa Beach home, police say.

By the time she hit Stafford County on Interstate 95 in Virginia, she was down to her last $14 and had reached her limit: Soon she would pick up a handgun and plead to die at the hands of officers.

The 57-year-old pulled her Kia sedan into a Walmart parking lot just before dawn Dec. 8, triggering a four-hour standoff as she repeatedly waved a silver revolver, cursing Stafford County sheriff’s deputies as she demanded that they shoot her.

“She kept talking to herself, yelling profanities and enticing us to shoot her, over and over and over again,” said Capt. Ben Worcester, a member of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

Rather than rush into a situation where they might have to fire, Stafford officials turned to technology: Police pilots flew two drones to monitor the woman from a safe distance and avoid putting officers in a direct confrontation.

The airborne cameras gave authorities a close-up view of her and what she had in her car as she flitted between pacing outside and ducking back into the vehicle.

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