A 17-year-old girl was shot dead by three Texas police officers after she showed up at the police station reportedly with some type of weapon.
Kristiana Coignard arrived at Longview Police Department at around 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22, according to police reports. When she entered the lobby she allegedly confronted a group of officers and was shot four times. Police said she was "brandishing a weapon” just before the officers fired.
Longview Mayor Jay Dean told Marshall News Messenger he was told a “female wielding a knife entered into the police department.”
The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid leave while the Texas Rangers investigate the incident.
Officials could not “confirm the type of weapon Coignard brandished at the officers” and no details about the events that transpired immediately after Coignard’s death have been released.
The teenager's aunt, Heather Robertson, told ThinkProgress her niece had been struggling with mental illness but “was only violent with herself.”
“I think it was a cry for help. I think they could have done something,” Robertson said. “They are grown men. I think there is something they are not telling us.”
Robertson said the girl’s mother died when she was 4 years old. Coignard had been diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. She was recently hospitalized after two suicide attempts.
Coignard had been taking medication and seeing a therapist since moving to Longview in December. She has no criminal history.
The girl’s grandmother, Holly McGuire, and Robertson spoke with Longview Police the night of the shooting. They were not given many details but they were told that the entire incident was caught on video with sound.
Longview Police Department spokeswoman Kristian Brian declined to comment on the case as the Texas Rangers continue the investigation but did confirm that a video exists. McGuire and Robertson have yet to be contacted by the Texas Rangers.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Heather Robertson via Think Progress, Marshall News Messenger