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Woman shot, killed by Austin officers was holding BB gun, police say

The weapon a woman used to threaten police officers before they shot and killed her early Sunday in South Austin was a BB gun, Austin police officials said.

The woman was identified Monday as Micah Jester, 26.

Police have said officers responded about 3:45 a.m. to a call about an emotionally disturbed person at the Club at Summer Valley Apartments on West William Cannon Drive and South First Street. Jester’s live-in boyfriend told police Jester was displaying erratic behavior and asked for a mental health officer.

When officers arrived, police said Jester walked out to the apartment building’s breezeway and yelled, “shoot me, shoot me, kill me” while pointing the gun at the officers. Jester did not comply with orders to drop the weapon and the officers shot her, police said. Jester continued to say, “kill me,” and when police approached to disarm her, she again pointed the gun at officers, one of whom fired several more shots, police said.

After the scene was processed Sunday, investigators determined that Jester’s weapon was a replica semi-automatic BB gun.

Jester died from her injuries just before 5 a.m. at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.

Jester was the mother of two daughters, a child who was nearly 1-year-old and a 4-year-old, said Jester’s mother Tonya Jester.

“It was not a justified kill,” said Jason Meeley, Tonya Jester’s boyfriend. “They could have used a stun gun on her. They could have Tasered her, they could have done a lot of stuff.”

Jester and her boyfriend, who had been together for eight years, had been going through a break-up, Tonya Jester said.

This is not the first time her family has faced tragedy, Tonya Jester said. Micah Jester’s father was killed in Florida several years ago, she said.

On Monday, Austin police also released the names of the two officers involved in the shooting: Richard Smith and mental health officer Deborah Lindeman. Both have been with the department for about three years, and, per Austin police policy, both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

“Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this tragic incident,” Austin police said in a statement Monday.

This case is being investigated by the Austin police Internal Affairs Unit, the Office of the Police Monitor, the Austin police Special Investigation Unit and the Travis County district attorney’s office. A Travis County grand jury will also review this incident.

Jester is the sixth person killed by Austin police this year.

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