Colleen Beverly Kelly, w/f, 37, unarmed and mentally ill, is shot once in the abdomen and killed by Houston PD officer Joseph H. Shackett. Although reportedly suicidal and having committed no offense, Shackett nevertheless hunted for and found her walking on a city street, wearing a fanny pack. Colleen told him she didn't want to talk to him, and continued walking as Shackett "kept an eye on her." Claiming he thought she had a gun, despite having been told by Colleen's mother less that 15 minutes earlier that she was unarmed and had no access to guns, Shackett calls for backup and 5 HPD cars, with lights flashing, quickly surround her. Shackett and other officers bombard Colleen with orders to drop her fanny pack. Shackett then claims that Colleen approached his car with her hand inside her fanny pack, saying she was holding it as if it were a gun. Shackett shot her when she was just inches away. Despite an HPD general order that requires officers to "detain all witnesses," Shackett nevertheless ignores the numerous civilian witnesses to this murder and allows all traffic to proceed, thus ensuring that no witnesses other than police officers and EMS personnel remain. And despite the severity of her injury, Colleen lay on a gurney for 6 minutes before the ambulance left the site. Neither Shackett nor EMS personnel called for Life Flight, which likely would have saved her life since she died after arriving at the hospital 45 minutes later. Colleen was allowed to bleed to death, further ensuring no civilian witness to this incident. Shackett was no-billed. (media reports)
See also, 9/26/1999 - Tense Encounters, Tragic Consequences - Houston Chronicle
9/26/1999 - Aggressive officers scare mentally ill - Houston Chronicle
10/5/1999 - Calling police should not be death sentence for mentally ill - Houston Chronicle, and
2/12/1999 - Shackett kills Carlos Mundo Baraona and Gustavo Alberto Mejia.