Woman, 61, dead after exchanging gun fire with St. Louis County police | St. Louis Public Radio

Woman, 61, dead after exchanging gun fire with St. Louis County police

Dec 5, 2015

Update Dec. 6- Police have identified the woman shot and killed by tactical officers as Sheilah Huck.

Two St. Louis County police officers shot and killed a 61-year-old white woman in north St. Louis County Saturday afternoon. Police said the woman was behaving irrationally and fired at the officers first.

Officers exchanged fire with the woman while trying to get inside her home in the 6600 block of Foothills Court near Florissant. Police said she had barricaded herself inside a few hours earlier, after shooting and injuring a neighbor woman.

Credit Jason Rojas | Flickr

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the woman appeared to be alone inside the home, and bystander safety was not a factor in the tactical team’s decision to break in.

“They did try to negotiate,” Belmar said. “And then they have to figure out, 'Well, if we have to go in then how are we going to do this?' So they decided that breaching that front door was probably the best idea.”

Belmar said the 61-year-old appeared to be in “mental crisis” and only knew the neighbor she shot “casually.”

The neighbor, a 35-year-old black woman, was shot twice in the head and once in the torso. Belmar said she is expected to survive.

No officers present during the exchange of gunfire were injured. The two officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

Follow Camille Phillips on Twitter: @cmpcamille.