A woman who allegedly tried to run down a Butte County sheriff's deputy with her vehicle died Thursday evening after deputies fired shots into her vehicle.
The woman was identified by the Sheriff's Office as 56-year-old Myra Lisa Micalizio of Palermo.
The Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about 6:30 p.m. from a residence in the 2100 block of Stanley Drive in Palermo. The caller said that a woman the caller did not know was trespassing on the property and when asked to leave had refused and threatened to shoot the residents, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. The caller provided a description of the woman and the vehicle in which she had arrived.
Deputies Charles Lair and Mary Barker arrived and found the woman, later identified as Micalizio, in the front yard and her vehicle parked in the driveway. As the deputies approached Micalizio, she had her hands behind her back and refused Lair's directions to stop and show her hands, the news release said. Based on her reported threats to shoot the residents of the property, the deputies were concerned that she had a gun.
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Micalizio continued to ignore Deputy Lair's commands to show her hands. She walked to her vehicle, got into the driver's seat, quickly started the engine and accelerated backward at high speed toward Lair. As the vehicle came within about 6 feet of Lair, the deputy attempted to move out of its path, but Micalizio appeared to steer toward him, the news release said.
Fearing he was about to be run over, Lair fired seven shots from his handgun into the vehicle, and Deputy Barker, who was standing nearby, fired six shots from her handgun into the vehicle, fearing that Lair was in imminent danger, the news release said. Both deputies stopped firing when the vehicle slowed and came to a stop.
The preliminary investigation indicated that only 15 to 20 seconds elapsed from between the time the deputies arrived and the shooting occurred, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The deputies notified sheriff's dispatchers of the shooting, requested medical aid and immediately began life-saving efforts, the news release said. Medical personnel arrived and continued the life-saving efforts, but Micalizio died at the scene.
The Sheriff's Office said both deputies were equipped with body-worn cameras, but because of how rapidly the incident evolved, they did not activate them until after the shooting.
The shooting was witnessed by three residents of the property, and their statements corroborated the deputies' accounts, the news release said.
The Butte County Sheriff's Office reported having only one previous contact with Micalizio, and in that instance she reported being the victim of a battery. The Sheriff's Office said an autopsy is pending and will be conducted by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.
Deputy Lair, 41, is a 16-year veteran of the Butte County Sheriff's Office and Deputy Barker, 27, has been with the department for two years. Both will be reassigned from field operations to administrative duties pending a meeting with the department's psychologist, the news release said.
The Butte County Officer Involved Shooting and Critical Incident Protocol Team will investigate the shooting. The Protocol Team includes detectives and investigators from state and local agencies throughout Butte County.
"The team works closely with the Butte County District Attorney's Office to conduct complete, thorough and independent investigations in cases of this nature," the news release said, adding that further details will be released by the District Attorney's office when the investigation is completed.