A Cecil County Maryland woman, 45-year-old Christine Lucas, was shot to death by Maryland state troopers early this morning after she made a report of an intruder in her home sometime before 2 a.m., according to Fox Baltimore. When the troopers arrived, they found Lucas brandishing what they thought was a real gun, but which turned out to be an Airsoft gun, which resulted in her tragic death.
A suicide note with an “explanation for her actions” was said to be found in the house after a warrant was later obtained by police. Lucas’ husband was reported to have stayed with his wife only occasionally and to have not been at home when the altercation took place, having left the house on Saturday. Perhaps exacerbating the situation, Lucas was reported to have stopped taking prescription medication in the preceding weeks, the family was suffering from financial problems, and the home had been without electricity for as long as four months.
The Airsoft gun that Christine Lucas was said to have waved at police was painted black and was said to have been the “size of a real handgun,” reportedly making it difficult for officers to know what they were dealing with when the decision to shoot the Cecil County woman was made, according to WJLA.
The officers who shot Lucas were named as Trooper First Class Justin Rann and Trooper First Class Timothy Graham.
Reportedly, the troopers, deputies, and a member of local Rising Sun police force teamed-up to respond to Lucas’ call of an intruder in her two-story home. Upon the arrival of the law enforcement officials, it was reported that they could hear Lucas screaming inside the house.
The officers were reported to have “forced their way” inside, gaining access through the garage. Lucas’ house was said to have been enveloped in darkness, due to the electricity being cut-off, necessitating the use of flashlights, and presumably hampering the vision of the police.
The group was said to have found Christie Lucas seated in a chair in her living room. After the police asked what was going on, and gave Lucas “verbal commands” she was said to have produced what appeared to be a handgun and told them that she didn’t think the were “real police” officers.
After assuring Lucas that they were there to help, the woman pointed her gun, which turned out to be an Airsoft gun, at the officers, causing them to fear for their lives. The troopers fired at Christine Lucas and fatally killed her. Trooper Graham was said to have immediately begun to render first aid in a vain attempt to save Lucas’ life.
Lucas’ 15-year-old son was reported to have been asleep in his room upstairs when his mother’s encounter with the police took place. The boy stated that, earlier in the night, his mother had prepared a bag with his clothes and told him to stay upstairs.
Airsoft guns are required to have a “6mm wide blaze orange tip” and removing it is illegal, according to Find Law. The gun Christine Lucas pointed at police was likely sold with a warning explaining that removing the orange tip “is dangerous, may cause confusion, may be mistaken to be a real firearm by law enforcement officers or others and may be a crime,” as reported by the Washington Times.
Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was shoot to death by police in Cleveland in November 2014 after officers found him in a park with a pellet gun, which also had the orange tip removed, as reported by The Inquisitr. A grand jury declined to indict the Cleveland police officers involved.
Trooper Justin Rann was described as serving with the North East Barrack for four years, and Trooper Timothy Graham as serving with Aviation Command for four. Each of the troopers were reported to have been put on administrative leave in the wake of the shootings, which is said to be standard “procedure” following incidents involving the lethal use of police force.
[Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images]