Mom of woman fatally shot by Phoenix police: Dept. needs better way to handle the mentally ill

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PHOENIX — The mother of a woman who was fatally shot by a Phoenix police officer says the department needs to find better ways when handling mentally ill patients.

Frances Garrett says she called a mental health facility to try and get her inpatient treatment for her 50-year-old daughter Michelle Cusseaux.

She says her daughter suffered from depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.

Police were called to an apartment complex in Maryvale around 3 p.m. Thursday to serve what officers called an "Emergency Mental Health Pick Up Order."

They say Cusseaux was shot because she was holding a claw hammer above her head and came toward the officer. She later died at a hospital.

Phoenix police say they are conducting a criminal and administrative investigation, which is normal protocol in an officer-involved shooting.

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