MIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) - A woman who pointed what turned out to be a pellet gun at a police officer in a Miami Shores neighborhood was killed after the officer opened fire, police said.
According to Miami Shores Police, an officer with the department responded to a home in the area of Northwest First Avenue and 95th Street, at around 4:15 p.m., Monday.
“The initial arriving officer encountered an adult female exiting the house with what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun,” said Miami Shores Police Chief Kevin Lystad.
A picture released of the weapon by the department shows the weapon resembles a firearm.
“The weapon was pointed at the officer. The officer feared for his safety and fired at the victim,” said Lystad.
Neighbor Eddie Lewis said he heard the gunfire.
“I’m in the back room watching TV, and all of a sudden, I heard some shots, some rapid fire,” he said, “and about five minutes later, I heard the sirens, and I just said, ‘Let me lay down. Something happened around the corner.’ I didn’t think it was this close.”
Additional Miami Shores Police units responded to the scene, as well as Miami-Dade Police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
7SkyForce HD hovered above a home showing a yellow tarp on the sidewalk and what appeared to be the pellet gun in the driveway. First responders could be seen going in and out of the residence.
Further investigation led police to discover that the weapon the woman was holding was a pellet gun.
Lystad said this was not the first time Miami Shores Police officers encountered this woman. The department has had a number of calls to the house over the years.
“She is a housewife, has mental health issues. She’s had mental health issues for years. She’s been hospitalized for I don’t know how long. She has the records,” said Jorge Rodriguez, a friend of the family, through a translator.
The woman’s daughter-in-law and multiple close friends have identified her as Etianna Planellas. They said she lived in the home with her husband and several other elderly family members.
“She lived with her mother, her mother-in-law, her brother, who also has mental health issues, her grandmother,” said Rodriguez. “She was the matriarch of the house. What will happen to those poor people?”
Family members of the woman who spoke to 7News off camera asked for privacy at this time. They said they are devastated by what happened and wish things had been handled differently.
Lewis said he has lived in his house for more than 30 years and is surprised something like this happened so close to his home.
Officers temporarily shut down several blocks of Northwest 95th Street near the home while they investigated.
Miami-Dade Police homicide detectives are investigating, as is the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE is the lead agency in the investigation.
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