VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A 91-year-old Southern California woman was fatally shot by sheriff's deputies responding to a break-in report at her home after she pointed a shotgun at them, authorities said.
Betty Francois of Victorville died early Monday at a hospital where she was flown after the weekend shooting, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
The shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the Spring Valley Lake community in Victorville, a high desert city northeast of Los Angeles, after a 911 call reporting unknown persons were attempting to break into a residence, the department said.
“Deputies arrived and a woman, later identified as Betty Francois, came out the front door of the home armed with a shotgun. Deputies gave her commands to drop the gun, then she pointed the gun at the deputies, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” the department said.
Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller told the Victorville Daily Press that the deputies found no sign of intruders at the property.
Miller said the number of shots fired by deputies was not being released due to the ongoing investigation, the newspaper reported.
New Hampshire state legislator Susan DeLemus, a relative of Francois, told the Daily Press that Francois was legally blind and deaf.
DeLemus, a Republican member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, said her husband, Jerry DeLemus, is a nephew of Francois.
Jerry DeLemus is serving a prison term after pleading guilty to federal charges stemming from the 2014 armed standoff at the Nevada ranch of states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy.
Susan DeLemus described Francois as a “precious and petite little lady.”
“She was born in 1929, and the police felt so threatened by her that they had to shoot her,” DeLemus told the Daily Press. “We’ve all been strong, faithful and trying to make the best of a bad situation. … The entire family is upset and concerned. Everyone one of us is very upset by the entire situation.”