Knife-Wielding Woman Shot By Police In D.C., Will Be Charged With Assault And Arson [Video]

A knife-wielding woman was shot by Washington, D.C. police near the scene of a fire Saturday, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said.

It is unclear why the knife-wielding woman was behaving in such a way. Lanier said the woman was armed with multiple weapons and refused to follow officer’s orders to drop them. A passerby captured footage of the moment in which the woman advances towards police.

The confrontation between the knife-wielding woman and Washington, D.C. officers occurred at 6 p.m. in the Northeast part of the nation’s capital. Lanier said investigators don’t know what prompted the woman to attack officers and there are no specific rules about how an officer is to respond to such an instance.

“We don’t really know what’s behind this.

“There is no policy that dictates every individual officer’s perception and every individual officer’s actions. It is something we train officers to handle based on what the situation is…someone charges an officer with a knife, we have to deal with it the way that we do.”

In the video, the knife-wielding woman appears to be about eight-to-10-feet away, as she advances sometimes steadily, at other times not, the officer backs up. The Washington, D.C. police officer has his arms extended and is pointing his weapon at the woman who is wearing a pink baseball hat.

Witnesses are heard screaming in the background, “put the knife down, put it down” repeatedly at the woman. A man is seen waving his arms wildly in trying to get the knife-wielding woman to put her weapons down.

Lanier said the woman was taken to the hospital and is recovering from her injuries. A police spokesperson said Saturday the knife-wielding woman was reportedly in stable condition.

Washington, D.C. police came across the knife-wielding woman when they responded to a nearby fire and reports of a woman holding a knife, however, police says the woman was holding multiple knives.

One witness, Gerald McBrayer, said she held “a little steak knife” and received no warning. Another witness, Nathan Strickland, said the woman had a steak knife with what he described as a “skinny,” 6-to-8-inch blade, the Washington Post reports.


On Sunday night, police announced charges against the knife-wielding woman, identified as Renita Nettles. Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump says Nettles has been charged with arson for allegedly starting a fire in a northeast Washington home that initially brought police to the scene where she was shot early Saturday evening. Nettles has also been charged with assault on a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Associated Press

[Image via New York Daily News]