Navajo Nation woman shot and killed by police officer in Arizona

Loreal Barnell-Tsingine. Photo from GoFundMe

Loreal Barnell-Tsingine, a 27-year-old member of the Navajo Nation, was shot and killed by a police officer in Winslow, Arizona, on Sunday.

Barnell-Tsingine was shot five times, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Public Safety told the Associated Press. The department is investigating the incident and her family wants answers.

Shundeen Smith, an aunt of Barnell-Tsingine, said "this needs to get attention of what's happening on the border towns of the Navajo Nation" in a post on Facebook.

Winslow is located just south of the reservation and Native Americans represent 25.7 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The city issued a press release about the shooting and said a police officer was responding to call about a "Native American" shoplifting suspect.

“While attempting to take the subject into custody, a struggle ensued,” the press release stated. “At this time, the subject displayed a weapon which presented a substantial threat to the officer. The officer discharged his weapon resulting in the unfortunate death.”

The weapon, according to news reports, was a pair of scissors. "Was he so scared of her? A little tiny thing with a scissor?" Floranda Dempsey, another aunt, told 12 News.

The family has set a up a GoFundMe page to pay for funeral expenses. It describes Barnell-Tsingine as "a mother, daughter, sister, cousin, neice [sic] and friend that was taken from us way to soon!!"

"She was loved by so many," the page reads. "There are no words to describe the pain in our hearts, she was a special individual."

Get the Story:
Police: Woman killed by Arizona officer held scissors (AP 3/29)
DPS: Winslow woman shot by police, killed had 'scissors' (12News 3/29)
Police Kill Navajo Woman Allegedly Armed With Scissors (Indian Country Today 3/29)
DPS: Winslow woman shot by police, killed (12 News 3/28)

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