Woman with mental illness shot by deputies identified

Woman shot by deputies identified, KATU.com, July 2, 2010

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office identified the woman who deputies shot and injured early Thursday morning as 50-year-old Mary Diershaw.

Deputies say a woman called 9-1-1 at 2:31 a.m. threatening to kill someone, but it is not known who she was talking about.

Deputies responding to the call found Diershaw in some bushes near the Aloha Park Apartments on Southwest 185th Avenue near Baseline Road.

A confrontation in the parking lot ensued and deputies said she had her hand in her jacket and claimed she had a firearm.

Deputies said they told Diershaw to make both hands visible but she did not comply and advanced on them instead. The deputies then opened fire on the woman, hitting her once in her right arm. The bullet apparently passed through her chest as well.

She was taken to Legacy Emanuel hospital for emergency surgery and was listed in serious condition Thursday night.

Deputies said Diershaw turned out not to be armed with a gun or knife. They said after the shooting they found a silver comb they think she was pulling out of her pocket when deputies shot her.

One witness said he saw the commotion but could not verify the number of gunshots due to the ongoing use of fireworks in the area as the July 4th holiday nears.

A woman who lives in the same complex told KATU News that Diershaw had a similar standoff with law enforcement officers a year ago during a suicidal episode.

Investigators said they found a note in Diershaw’s apartment that told her family what to do with her estate if she died. They said the note was probably written in the last 24 hours.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. The names of the deputies who fired their weapons have not yet been released but they have been placed on administrative leave which is standard procedure after a shooting.

Washington County deputy shoots woman in early-morning confrontation, The Oregonian, July 2, 2010