READING, Pa. (CBS) — The Berks County District Attorney says the shooting of a woman by police in Reading earlier this month was a justified use of force. Lakim Miller-Nock, who identifies as a female and prefers to be called Roxanne Moore, remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
Berks County District Attorney John Adams says the 29-year-old wreaked havoc on the morning of Sept. 13 before being shot by responding officers.
The incident lasted less than 15 minutes and ended with 16 shots fired, and Moore being hit multiple times.
It all started around 7 a.m. in her apartment when authorities say Moore got into an argument with others and started a fire on the stove, which led to an altercation.
Adams says Moore forcibly stole a handgun from someone in the apartment and then ran outside.
Video surveillance from that block spotted her waving the handgun in the air, pistol-whipping a man, chasing him and pointing what appears to be a gun at him. That victim was able to run away.
A third victim called 911, saying the suspect threatened to shoot and kill her.
By the time police arrived on scene, the suspect was still running up the 800 block of Franklin Street before stumbling and falling.
The first officer to arrive on scene pulled his weapon as he exited his vehicle and ran toward the suspect. Adams says after repeatedly demanding Moore to drop the weapon, the officer fired. So did other officers who arrived soon after.
The loaded Smith & Wesson chrome revolver was fully loaded but was inoperable because of a safety mechanism that was engaged and could only be opened with a separate key.
Moore is known to police and is currently on parole. The district attorney says there is a history of mental health and potential drug use. But it isn’t clear if the suspect was under the influence at the time of the shooting.
“I would have released the body cam footage but for the fact that it’s evidence in a criminal case, and therefore it will be released at the appropriate time to defense council through the discovery process,” Adams said.
This is an ongoing investigation. Adams believes a reasonable use of force was used in the incident.
Once Moore is medically cleared and discharged from the hospital, criminal charges, including aggravated assault and robbery, will be filed.