The officers can be heard discussing Lyles’ previous calls to police and her mental-health issues. One officer says that Lyles began “talking all crazy about how the officers weren’t gonna leave,” while another asks if she had a “mental precaution on her.” The officer responds that she has an officer-safety precaution on file.

The recording reveals that officers were aware of Lyles’ mental-health issues and the fact that children might be in the home before they opened fire in the apartment. One officer asks, “Wait, is this the one with, like, the three kids?”

“Yeah,” the other officer responds. “Yeah, so this gal is the one who was making all the [inaudible] statements about how her and her daughter were gonna turn into wolves.”

The woman, presumably Lyles, allows officers to enter, and she explains the break-in to the cops. The children can be heard in the background as she answers questions. The conversation seems civil as she lists the items missing, and then the officers yell “Get back!” approximately 11 seconds before gunshots are heard.

According to the Seattle Times, one of the officers mentioned scissors in an unreleased portion of the audio.


Two white Seattle law-enforcement officers opened fire on a pregnant, black mother of four Sunday morning, killing the 30-year-old in front of her children after she called police to report a burglary.

Charleena Lyles was living in transitional housing for homeless families in Seattle, according to the Seattle Patch, when she dialed 911 to report an attempted burglary. In a statement, Police Detective Mark Lyles wrote, “Although this was a typical burglary report, two officers were required due to information pertaining to this address that presented an increased risk to officers.”

KIRO7 News reports that the police officers knew Lyles, so they sent two police officers because they were “concerned for their safety”—which is understandable, considering the threat of the undersized, petite woman whom family members called “tiny” and said “weighs, like, nothing soaking wet.”