A woman with Asperger’s, whose video of her being calmed by a service dog went viral last year, has been shot to death by police inside her Arizona apartment, officials said.
Danielle Jacobs, 24, was killed after she allegedly came at Mesa Police Department officers with a knife.
Officers who responded Thursday to multiple calls of a suicidal woman found Jacobs in her home threatening to hurt herself, AZ Family reported.
"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 told the news site.
"When she made contact with them she approached them with the knife, extended it out, and they felt threatened," Flores said.
Jacobs was rushed to a nearby hospital and underwent surgery, but died at the medical center.
Last year, Jacobs posted a poignant video of her sobbing while Samson, her Rottweiler, comforted her and used a paw to prevent her from hitting herself.
“When I have a meltdown, I often have self-injurious behavior and I often self-harm,” Jacobs told the Huffington Post, likening her breakdowns to a computer that has “too much input, there’s not enough output, you lose control and you crash.”
The video—which has since been made private— quickly went viral, with many saying it touched them personally or opened their eyes to something to which they had little exposure.
Jacobs often took to social media to discuss how she felt, writing on Facebook one week ago: “I may vent here on FB but in person I never put a negative attitude in public. No one wants to hear it and it brings people down. However fb is my place to relax and vent about what drives me crazy.”
Her mother, Stacia, told the New York Daily News nothing was out of the ordinary when she spoke with her daughter before the shooting.
“I talked to her last night and the night before and she seemed fine,” said Stacia, who is now taking care of Samson.
She questioned the fatal shooting, telling the News: "Before the police arrived she wasn’t posing a threat to the community at all. And the police came into her own place. They shot and killed a 24-year-old autistic, mentally ill individual whom they had been familiar with, and aware of her special needs.”
The officers involved in the shooting were not harmed and were not wearing body cameras. They have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, ABC 15 reported.