Last summer, a video of a woman with Asperger’s syndrome having a meltdown and being comforted by her service dog went viral. On Thursday, the woman in that video, 24-year-old Danielle Jacobs, was shot dead by police responding to a suicide call.
According to the NY Daily News, police went to Jacobs’ home in Mesa, Arizona around 11 a.m. over concerns she was attempting to commit suicide. They were forced to open fire when she attacked officers with a knife. The officers say they were forced to shoot in self-defense and hit her in the stomach. She went into surgery at the hospital but died.
Her mother, Stacia, claims that the shooting was not necessary and said her daughter seemed fine when she had spoken to her the day before.
She told The Daily News, “Before the police arrived, she wasn’t posing a threat to the community at all. And the police came into her own place. They shot and killed a 24-year-old autistic, mentally ill individual whom they had been familiar with and were aware of her special needs.”
“I talked to her last night and the night before and she seemed fine,” her mother said.
About two years, police responded to a previous suicide attempt call by Jacobs.
Officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, according to ABC 15.
Although Danielle’s life was taken far too early, her videos prove the powerful effect service dogs have on their owners. Her Rottweiler, Samson, was trained to stop her from self-harming and the viral video shows him at work. Samson is currently in the care of Stacia.
Watch the video below.