Department of Public Safety to conduct criminal investigation of Michelle Cusseaux shooting death

PHOENIX - An outside independent investigation will be conducted after a woman was shot and killed by police in Phoenix.

Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia said on Saturday that he reached out to the head of the Department of Public Safety about taking on the criminal investigation into the death of 50-year-old Michelle Cusseaux .

Garcia said DPS Director Robert Halliday accepted his request.

During the Saturday afternoon press conference, Garcia said he’d met with the mother of Cusseaux and out of that meeting he made the decision to ask for the independent investigation.

The incident will also go to a secondary review by County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Garcia said he believes the decision is in the best interest of the officer involved , the police department, the city and Michelle Cusseaux and her mother, Frances Garrett.

RELATED: Family of Michelle Cusseaux wants independent investigation into police shooting

Cusseaux was shot and killed on August 14 when she allegedly charged at Dupra with a hammer after threatening to shoot mental health workers in the face.

Her mother said she had just wanted to get help for Cusseaux when she called the mental health facility to pick her daughter up.

"I did not ask for Michelle to become another statistic here, another homicide. I did not call them for that reason," Garrett said.

Chief Garcia said he wants the Phoenix Police Department to be known for compassion and trust.

“One thing you have to build with the community is trust… it’s something we have to build on and continue to move forward on,” Garcia said.

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