California deputy fatally shoots knife-wielding mom in front of her kids

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A California deputy fatally shot a woman in front of her two young children as she charged at another cop with a knife, graphic video shows.

The footage, released Wednesday by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, shows 33-year-old Ariella Crawford walking along a road in Alta Sierra with her two young children when Deputy Caleb Toderean approached her.

A nearby resident had called 911 on Feb. 4 to report a woman walking in the middle of the road amid “significant traffic,” sheriff officials said.

The video shows Crawford becoming immediately upset as the deputies approached, prompting her to pull out a large knife.

“For reasons yet unknown, Ms. Crawford was very upset with the presence of our deputies despite one of them saying she was not in any trouble,” Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon said.

Toderean told Crawford she was “not in trouble or anything like that” and denied that he was going to touch the woman’s babies, the clip shows.

“But I need you to put your knife away,” Toderean told Crawford.

“Don’t hurt my babies!” Crawford replied before yelling at the deputies. “If something happens to me and my babies, everyone in the whole world will know!”

Toderean said he “just wanted to help out,” but Crawford continued screaming and walked toward him as a second deputy, Matthew Harrison, held a Taser at the woman, video shows.

After deploying the Taser, Crawford charged at Harrison wielding the knife, prompting Toderean to open fire.

“After Deputy Toderean discharged his service weapon, Ms. Crawford was still holding the knife,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement while releasing the graphic footage. “When she dropped it, the deputies immediately began medical aid.”

Crawford was later pronounced dead at a hospital, Moon said.

The Nevada County District Attorney’s Office will review the fatal shooting to determine whether it was “justified and lawful,” Moon said.

“We released this video prior to the conclusion of that investigation in the interest of transparency with our community,” the sheriff said. “We make no judgment on the incident or how it unfolded. That is for the district attorney’s office to determine.”

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