Betty Sexton: Mother Shot Dead By Police While Holding Musket After Calling 911

Betty Sexton, a mother-of-two from Gastonia, North Carolina, was shot in the chest and killed by police earlier this week as they responded to a domestic disturbance call that she herself placed.

Sexton called 911 just before midday on Tuesday, asking officers to come to the house she shared with her boyfriend. Complaining about unwanted guests in her home, Sexton called police in order to make them leave. When officers arrived, a confrontation with Sexton took place while she reportedly held an old musket that she had recovered from her closet. The standoff ended when Sexton was shot in the chest, allegedly by officer LaDoniqua Neely, later passing away at a hospital.

Debra Kennedy, Sexton’s sister, alleged that Sexton was told by her boyfriend that the gun wasn’t loaded, as its antiquarian nature requires a complicated arming process. It remains unclear why Betty Sexton retrieved the weapon before police arrived.

“An old musket gun,” Kennedy observed. “It has powder that goes down in it, and you got to use a rod down in it. Even pellets have to put down in it.”

Kennedy also claims that Sexton was complying with the officer’s request to place the weapon on the ground when she was fatally shot.

“That officer still shot my sister dead in the chest,” she asserted.

Neely has been with the Gastonia police force since 2012, and was placed on administrative leave following Sexton’s death, which is standard protocol in cases involving fatal shootings. The Gastonia police have requested that the State Bureau of Investigations lead the probe into Sexton’s death in order to conduct an unbiased proceeding.

The shooting marks the second time this month that Gastonia police have engaged in a fatal standoff during a domestic call. Several weeks ago, police conducted a welfare check on 74-year-old veteran James Allen, who was armed when officers entered his home. Police fired a single shot, which struck Allen and proved to be fatal.

Though some have lashed out at the police following her death, Betty Sexton’s friends and neighbors have paid tribute to her on social media.

[Images via the Daily Mail]