Police Shot And Killed Woman With Asperger's Syndrome Following Suicide Call

| by Sheena Vasani
Danielle JacobsDanielle Jacobs

Police shot and killed an Arizona woman with Asperger’s syndrome after responding to a suicide call on Feb. 4.

Police say they acted in self-defense as Danielle Jacobs, 24, reportedly attacked them with a knife while threatening to harm herself, New York Daily News reports.

"She had one knife that we know of, she had something else we're not sure what it was, the officers said it was dark inside the room," Detective Esteban Flores said, reports KTVK. "When she made contact with them she approached them with the knife, extended it out, and they felt threatened."

The officers who shot Jacobs were not wearing body cameras. They have been placed on administrative leave.

Jacob’s mother, Stacia, says she believes the shooting was unnecessary.

“I talked to her last night and the night before and she seemed fine,” Stacia said.

“Before the police arrived she wasn't posing a threat to the community at all. 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,” she added.

Jacobs received national attention in June 2015 after a video she uploaded about her struggles with Asperger’s syndrome went viral.

The Huffington Post reported on the video, in which Jacobs said:

"The reason why I posted this video is because that adult [you may see] on the floor kicking and screaming and that kid in the grocery store crying over a toy is [experiencing something they can't control]

"The kid in the grocery store doesn't need to be smacked or have harder discipline. His tantrum is something he can't control. The wires in his brain are all twisted, he can't communicate and say, 'Hey, I'm angry.'"

In the video, Jacobs’ dog, Samson, calms her down after her syndrome caused her to involuntarily hurt herself. Jacobs said she trained the dog herself to help her.

"When I have a meltdown, I often have self-injurious behavior and I often self-harm," she explained.

"It's like a computer. There's too much input, there's not enough output, you lose control and you crash.” she added.

Samson, she said, would force her to snap out of a meltdown and back into the present. 

The Rottweiler is now with Jacobs’ mother.

Sources: New York Daily News, KTVK, The Huffington Post / Photo credit: Wow Amazing

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