ALTA SIERRA (CBS13) — The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has released dash camera video Wednesday showing the moments a mother was shot and killed by deputies in front of her two young children.Blind Youth Football Player In Modesto Scores Touchdown In Team's Win
The incident happened back on Feb. 4. Deputies contacted the woman around 1 p.m. in the area of Alta Sierra Drive and Names Drive. She was walking with two young children – both under the age of five – and may have been under the influence, according to law enforcement.
Deputies say the woman was armed with a knife. The dash camera video released on Wednesday details the encounter.
The woman – identified as 33-year-old Ariella Sage Crawford – can be seen turning towards deputies and screaming. Deputies order her to put the knife down. Crawford, who’s known in the community as Sage, appears to be having a mental episode moments before those fatal shots were fired.
In the video, Sage can be heard saying, “I know what you did to my babies.”
“I’m not going to touch your babies, but I need you to put your knife away,” the deputy replied.
Sage repeatedly suggested someone is going to harm her kids.
“Every single day something happens to my babies,” she said.
One deputy then shoots a stun gun Crawford – prompting her to charge at the deputy while still holding the knife. Another deputy then shoots Crawford. Her children watched it all, crying in fear, and one child ran over to try to help their mom.
Officers performed medical aid until ambulances showed up, Crawford later died from her injuries.
Both children have since been placed in the care of other family members.READ MORE: Pedestrian Suffers Serious Injuries After Being Hit By Car In Sacramento
“She always had this fear of something happening to her children,” said Leia Schenk, with Empact. She’s been acting as a liaison for Sage Crawford’s family.
Schenk says Sage’s family confirms she had been struggling with her mental health and caring for her kids alone. The Nevada County District Attorney’s Office says she was known to law enforcement but has no criminal history.
“She had no trust in the police systems,” said Schenk.
The family says a mental health professional, not a sheriff’s deputy should have responded to Sage’s calls for help.
“The response is not what’s needed for that call. This was a perfect example of Sage needing something else,” said Schenk.
But law enforcement expert and former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinnis calls this the proper response. He says that response would have only put more people, including her kids, in danger.
“She is in the company of these young children, she is armed with a deadly weapon, a knife. In the minds of these officers, they know based on training, they know the threat of an edged weapon,” he said.
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office does have a mobile crisis team that pairs a therapist with a deputy for situations like this, but on the day Sage was shot, the mobile crisis team was not working.
A traumatic ending to a young life, her two young children now without a mother.
“She was one of those people who really needed more support than she was given,” said Schenk.
The department notes that the investigation, which is being led by the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office, is still ongoing.MORE NEWS: Wildfire Smoke Returns To Region As Folsom Renaissance Faire Returns
The department has posted the video to their YouTube page. (Warning: Viewer discretion is strongly advised).