Autopsy Shows Charleena Lyles Was Shot Seven Times By Seattle Police
A new autopsy report reveals that Charleena Lyles was pregnant when she was fatally shot seven times during a confrontation with two Seattle police officers on June 18.
In a report from the Seattle Times, Lyles was 14 to 15 weeks pregnant when she died, according to an autopsy report released by Karen Koehler, an attorney representing Lyles’ father, Charles Lyles. a toxicology report also revealed that the 30-year-old mother had no drugs or alcohol in her system when she was shot by officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew.
Anderson and McNew shot Lyles seven times during the altercation, with three of the gunshots hitting her in the front of the torso and chest, three hitting her in the back or rear of her arm, and one grazing the side of her ribs. One of the gunshot wounds also cut through her uterus and the fetus, with the bullet perforating “the upper midline uterus causing herniation of a fetus in its amniotic sac into the peritoneal cavity,” according to the report.
“I thought I was at the low point of being sad, but the sadness just got worse,” Charles Lyles said through Koehler. “Hearing the details of the shooting just makes me feel more empty. I lost my daughter and my next grandson. I just don’t have the words.”
Koehler said the family decided to release the autopsy and toxicology reports to challenge some assumptions in the media about Lyles.
“If you have been reading the dialogue you might have assumed she was a poor, single black woman with multiple children who must have been on drugs, and that is a false assumption and a false narrative,” Koehler said.
However, a statement issued on behalf of Lyles’ sisters, brother, and cousins denounced the released of her autopsy report, saying that Koehler did not consult with attorneys representing the rest of the family, and potentially having Lyles’ children learn about their mother’s death from the news or at school without preparation.
The altercation took place back on June 18, when Anderson and McNew responded to a 911 call placed by Lyles where she said someone had broken in and stolen two video-game consoles. As she described to the cops what was missing from her apartment she suddenly attacked both officers with one or two knives, Anderson and McNew said in recorded interviews with investigators.
Both officers fired, with three of Lyles’ children in the apartment when the shooting occurred. Investigators are still looking into the shooting, as well as why Anderson had left his uncharged Taser in his locker. Koehler has filed a six-page claim against the city of Seattle, with the claim also alleging police knew Lyles had mental-health issues and should have had a plan for dealing with her in compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.