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October 26, 2014

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Officials: Police officer ordered woman to drop knife before shooting her

Updated Thursday, March 27, 2014 | 9:18 p.m.

A woman shot by Metro Police Sgt. Esmeralda Boveda last week had reportedly charged at Boveda with a knife, department officials said today.

Tania Torres-Espinoza, 50, was carrying a knife over her head when Boveda ordered her to put it down to no avail, Undersheriff Jim Dixon said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Boveda, 30, was summoned to Torres-Espinoza's home near Tropicana Avenue and Celo Lane about 9:20 p.m. March 21 after the woman's husband reported that his wife had just held two knives over his head, according to a Metro police report.

The man had run away from the home and Torres-Espinoza followed, according to the report.

Torres-Espinoza eventually stopped chasing after her husband and walked north on Celo Lane toward Tropicana Avenue, where she encountered Boveda. Torres-Espinoza initially walked away from the sergeant before suddenly turning around and charging after her, Dixon said.

Boveda reportedly told Torres-Espinoza in Spanish and English to release the knife, Dixon said, but the suspect continued walking forward and Boveda fired at her twice from about five feet away.

Torres-Espinoza was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where she is being treated for gunshot wounds to her upper body. She was arrested on counts of assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon on an officer and resisting a public officer with a weapon.

Boveda, who has worked at Metro since 2003, is on routine paid administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed.

Though Torres has no criminal history, Dixon said she had two “interactions with police” in 2013 that led to her being taken to a mental health facility.

Last week’s incident was Metro’s fifth officer-involved shooting since January.

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