August 17, 2014 11:46 am -

The 50-year-old mentally ill woman was shot and killed by a Phoenix police officer.


Officers were attempting to serve a mental-health order to Michelle Cusseaux that would admit her to a mental-health facility, reports AZ Central.

Caseworkers “were trying to get her to come in for treatment. It got to the point that she wouldn’t do that. … She had a weapon and was making threats,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a police spokesman.

[su_r_sky_ad]Police opened the security door to Cusseaux’s home just as she was opening the front door with a claw hammer raised above her head.

The officers felt threatened and a patrol sergeant fired one shot from his gun. Cusseaux was struck in her chest with the bullet.

Cusseaux was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

35 responses to Police Fatally Shoot Mentally Ill Woman

  1. Anomaly 100 August 17th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    What ever happened to tasers and stun guns?

    • edmeyer_able August 17th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      The same thing that’s happened to common sense and backing away.

      • Tammy Minton Haley August 17th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        well said…

      • Anomaly 100 August 17th, 2014 at 12:31 pm


      • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

        Oh boy!

    • Tammy Minton Haley August 17th, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      that was my first reaction, too–this is insanity…wtf is happening, Miss A?

      how often is this happening? my god, do we not see that Rome is burning here, people…?

      and, on another note…ComedyCentral is showing “Idiocracy”…betcha they thought they were making a comedy ha-ha…instead, it turned into a documentary on the dissolution of American brainpower…good god…

      • Anomaly 100 August 17th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

        Since our police departments have become increasingly militarized, I guess their first reaction is to shoot, after all, that’s what we do during wartime. We need to strip them of their seemingly military status in America. They are supposed to ‘protect and serve’ us.

        I am so unnerved by all of this.

        • Tammy Minton Haley August 17th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

          me, too—for the first time, this “militarization of the police” is being played out on teevees–it’s damn scary, and, yes, we must stop giving these weapons of war to police departments–a lot of this excess equipment is just GIVEN to them, fill out some paperwork, *BAM*, you got yourselves a humvee and a rocket launcher…

          “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”–called the “law of instrument”, or “Maslow’s Concept”/circa 1966

          • Anomaly 100 August 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

            Great quote and sadly relevant to the present time.

          • uzza August 17th, 2014 at 3:06 pm

            Exactly. also,
            “When all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target”
            “If you dress community police up as an occupying army, they’ll start acting like one; and the neighborhoods they patrol will start acting like an occupied country.”

            This link has a great video, well worth watching the whole thing.

          • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 9:19 pm

            Hey, they dress cops up like that because of Federal Law. You see my friend, angry dirt-bags always get to throw rocks, wheels, bricks,etc; and the cops get to stand there and take it. It’s called Social Justice.

        • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 9:23 pm

          I suspect that you know very little about self-defense law and even less about combat, so I think your sarcasm is really cool.

          • Anomaly 100 August 17th, 2014 at 9:33 pm

            Well you know what they say about assuming…

          • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 9:46 pm

            Yeah, I do in fact. But what do they say about “suspecting”?

          • Anomaly 100 August 17th, 2014 at 9:53 pm

            In your case, they’d call it paranoia.

            End of conversation.

          • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 10:01 pm

            Thank you.

          • whatthe46 August 18th, 2014 at 2:44 am


  2. Carla Akins August 17th, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Evidently the Robin Williams mental health awareness has not trickled down to the Phoenix PD. Although it’s not entirely on them – the system is broke. We need to address mental health openly and frankly in this country – train first responders better, stop stigmatizing people for searching out help.

    • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Well addressing the mental health issue is a hard nut to crack, there is always the ACLU.

      • Carla Akins August 17th, 2014 at 7:56 pm

        Although always an option, I think in the long run better education and practices would be more helpful.

        • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 9:14 pm

          Education is always an option.

  3. Cassie August 17th, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Typical Phoenix.

    • Larry Schmitt August 17th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      It’s no more typical of Phoenix that of any other city. This kind of thing can happen anywhere, and is, with increasing frequency.

      • Tammy Minton Haley August 17th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        agreed–nowadays, no one region has the lock on the insanity creeping across the nation…people travel and move, and take their bigotry and world-view with them…

        it ain’t just the south no more, ya’ll…

  4. Herb Sarge Phelps August 17th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    This shooting was on Thursday and when I heard it on Fox10 Phoenix the way they reported it, it seemed to be another shoot out with cops, but I thought the story sounded fishy. Sure enough the shooting was talked about last night as a questionable shooting on CBS5 Phoenix and Fox10 also. I saw the woman’s mother last night on one of the channels, and she said she had had the mental health workers with her before, but this was the first time they took police, and she wish she had not called them.
    I live in Mesa Az. and I wouldn’t call the cops for any reason. They are not polite or sympathetic. It is the Arpaio influence of TOUGH TOUGH. I don’t trust the sheriff or the police here because they are not good law enforcement agency but what to be military people who don’t act like we were trained in the military.

    • whatthe46 August 17th, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      NEVER EVER… NEVER EVER EVER call the police for a family matter unless its for the obvious.

  5. Linda1961 August 17th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I don’t even see a “shot first and ask questions later” mentality on the part of the police; it’s simply “shoot to kill.” The militarized police departments don’t serve and protect us, the citizens, they seem to consider us the enemy.

  6. Herb Sarge Phelps August 17th, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I will relate another incident I witnessed in Phoenix a couple of years ago. I lived in an apartment complex in the city, and one night this guy with a dog got into a fight with some others on the grounds. The situation got pretty rough and I called the cops. When they came I told the cop that the guy with the dog was the one who started it and he had threatened to have the dog attack the ones he was fighting with, but he had not done so. The cop replied, “I will shoot the damn dog and be done with it.” I asked if he meant should the dog be released on him, and he let me know he didn’t care if the dog was on the leash or not, because he didn’t mind shooting the dog for practice. Fortunately the dog and owner disappeared from the grounds and nobody was hurt, but it did end any faith I had in the police.

    • Always Right August 17th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Well, that concludes it, based on your eye witness account, all police are bad.

      • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

        Well, that’s pretty much how some folks roll.

    • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Well I think what your heard from the cop was hyperbole, clearly an unprofessional response from a LEO.

      It’s almost like, when a young man says to a cop, “Go ahead and shoot me Pig”, that’s really hyperbole too,

      • whatthe46 August 17th, 2014 at 8:54 pm

        much like what you just did was make up an excuse for the cop.

        • CanterburyTom August 17th, 2014 at 9:13 pm

          Have someone read what I wrote and then your answer, and ask them, if that’s what I did. Pick someone you trust.

  7. Always Right August 17th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Sounds like the police followed protocol. When threatened with physical harm they are to shoot to kill. Would you rather have the story read, “deranged woman kills police officer with hammer because she knew he was going to shoot her if she didn’t?”

    • whatthe46 August 17th, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      maybe they shouldn’t have attempted to open the door with a deranged woman on the other side of it. instead of a claw hammer she could have had a gun. there has to be better protocals for approaching the mentally ill. get it “MENTALLY ILL”