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Texas Cops Release Video of Police Station Shooting Death of Mentally Ill Teenage Girl

Police said that Kristiana Coignard entered Longview’s police station on Thursday and asked to speak with an officer while brandishing a weapon.

by VICE News
Jan 28 2015, 5:35pm

Photo via Facebook

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Police in Longview, Texas have released a video of the shooting death of a mentally ill 17-year-old girl who they say entered the station last week "brandishing a weapon." The incident marks the third officer involved shooting death in the East Texas city in under a year.

Police said that Kristiana Coignard entered Longview's police station at 6.30pm on Thursday and asked to speak with an officer through the lobby courtesy phone. The teenager was still in the lobby of the police station when, according to police, she threatened the officers while wielding a weapon — reportedly a knife — and was shot "multiple times," according to a local official.

Exactly what led three male officers to shoot Coignard dead is still unclear. The Longview police department on Wednesday released the video of the incident. 

Kristian Brian, a spokesperson for Longview Police, did not confirm what type of weapon Coignard was allegedly threatening the officers with.

Heather Robertson, Coignard's aunt, told ThinkProgress that her niece, who was living with her in Longview, had mental illness issues since her mother died when she was four. Robertson added that Coignard attempted suicide various times, but was taking medications, and that she did not have a criminal record or a history of violent behavior toward others.

"I think it was a cry for help," Robertson said. "I think they could have done something. They are grown men. I think there is something they are not telling us."

Robertson said that she has not yet been contacted by the Texas Rangers, who are conducting the investigation.

The three officers involved in the death of Coignard are now on paid leave. A preliminary autopsy has classified the teenager's death as a homicide.

Longview police did not immediately return calls for comment placed by VICE News on Wednesday. However, the department has shared its side of the story on its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Coignard is the third person killed by Longview police in less than a year, following the deaths of a 15-year-old in March and a 23-year-old in August. In both cases, a grand jury cleared the officials involved with those killings.

Police killings
kristiana coignard