17-Year-Old Texas Girl Shot Dead by Three Police Officers
Kristiana Coignard, 17, was fatally shot after police say she was "brandishing a weapon" at officers
A 17-year-old girl was fatally shot by three police offers in the lobby of the Longview Police Department, public information officer Kristie Brian confirms to PEOPLE.
“Kristiana Coignard was shot after she was brandishing a weapon at the officers,” Brian said. “The officers are now on an administrative leave.”
When Coignard entered the station last Thursday around 6:30 p.m in Longview, Texas, she picked up a lobby phone that rings directly to police dispatch, and said that she needed an officer.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials have declined to identify the weapon, but Longview Mayor Jay Dean said he was told a “female wielding a knife entered the police department,” according to the Marshall News Messenger.
Coignard had been in Longview since December, her aunt, Heather Robertson, told Think Progress.
“I think it was a cry for help. I think they could have done something,” Robertson told the news outlet. “They are grown men. I think there is something they are not telling us.”
She also told them that her niece had been struggling with mental illness, including bipolar disorder, since her mother died when she was four.
Coignard had been hospitalized twice in recent years after suicide attempts.
The investigation of Coignard’s death is now being handled by the Texas Rangers, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety.