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Woman shot by deputy not Tasered first, coroner says

January 17, 2012 |  1:55 pm

A woman fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy was not Tasered before her death, according to a coroner's report.

Initial reports from Los Angeles County sheriff's officials indicated that deputies tried to subdue Jazmyne Ha Eng, 40, of Rosemead with a Taser before they were forced to fire their guns.

Eng was wielding a hammer and threatening people at the Asian Pacific Family Center on Jan. 4 when deputies arrived at the scene and tried to talk her into putting down the weapon.

Eng did not comply with their requests, Sgt. Pauline Panis said, prompting a deputy to try to subdue her with a Taser.

The attempt was ineffective and Eng advanced toward the detectives, Panis said. "Fearing for his safety, a deputy fired two rounds from his duty weapon, striking her."

Eng was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ed Winter, assistant chief for the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, said coroner's investigators found pieces of Taser confetti on the floor near Eng's body but she had no Taser darts in her body.

Winter said Eng suffered a gunshot wound in the upper left chest area and another in the central portion of her back. He could not determine whether the back wound was an entry or exit wound as bullets can fragment upon impact.

Eng also suffered a gunshot wound on her left hand and a possible second wound to the top of her hand.

The full autopsy report won't be completed until toxicology reports are submitted, which can take up to eight weeks.

A deputy must have a fear of great bodily injury before discharging a weapon, said Lt. Dave Dolson with the sheriff's homicide bureau.

"I can't speculate on how much harm it would cause if someone was struck in the head with a full size hammer," he said. "But any blow to the head with a hammer could be deadly."

Multiple investigations of the shooting are under way.

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-- Dalina Castellanos

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