Mother, Frances Garrett, speaks out after Phoenix police shoot, kill daughter, Michelle Cusseaux

PHOENIX - The mother of a 50-year-old woman who was shot and killed Thursday said she feels the Phoenix Police Department needs to find better ways when handling mentally ill patients.

Frances Garrett, the mother of Michelle Cusseaux , said she called a mental health facility to try and get her daughter inpatient treatment.

She said her daughter suffered from depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.

"I called to get help for my daughter, not to have her shot -- just to get the help she needed," she said during a Friday afternoon press conference.

Three Phoenix police officers responded to an apartment complex near 55th and Clarendon avenues around 3 p.m. Thursday to serve an "Emergency Mental Health Pick Up Order," according to Sgt. Tommy Thompson, spokesman for Phoenix police.

An officer shot the woman because she was holding a claw hammer above her head and came towards the officer, according to police. The officer felt threatened and fired. The woman was taken to a local hospital, where she later died.

Thompson said the officer fired one shot. He said the three officers tried to get the woman out of the home, but she kept slamming the door. Officers were then able to get through the security gate, and that's when the woman opened the door holding the hammer.

Garrett also said her daughter had threatened to harm herself before and has had different organizations called out to her home. But, not the police.

"I had asked my daughter to seek the help she needed. I had called the agencies requesting, begging them to help my daughter, and to get her the help that she needed and this was the end result," said Garrett.

Garrett was in California at the time of the shooting. She said she had spoken to her daughter before the shooting: "She was OK. She was calm."

Cusseaux's uncle, Malik Waheed, and Rev. Jarrett Maupin were also at the press conference. Maupin wants an independent investigation about what led to the shooting.

The Phoenix police officer has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in officer-involved shootings.

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