A 38-year-old grandmother, Charlene Fears, is accused of stabbing to death her 4-year-old grandson, Roderick Geiger III (pictured with his mother), at their Buffalo, N.Y., home last Wednesday.
WKBW-TV reports that police officers Robert Yeates and John Michael Mulderig were on a routine patrol when they were flagged down in front of the home as the alleged crime was being committed.
When the officers confronted Fears, she was reportedly holding butcher knives in both hands. Officers reportedly demanded that she drop the knives but she reportedly refused. Cops also say Fears lunged at one of the officers, forcing him to fatally shot her.
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Buffalo’s police commissioner Daniel Derenda says that it was a dire situation for the cops, according to the Associated Press.
“It became a life or death situation for the officers,” he said, citing the initial investigation.
Here is more on this story from the AP:
Neighbors told The Buffalo News they were first alerted to the stabbing when Fears’ daughter, the boy’s mother, began screaming, “Somebody killed my baby” and administering CPR.
Meanwhile, relatives of the slain boy’s father, Roderick Geiger Jr., said Thursday that they hadn’t heard from him since the stabbing and worried about his safety.
“We don’t have any idea where he is,” Timothy Geiger, Geiger Jr.’s grandfather and the slain child’s great-grandfather, told The Associated Press. “We’re hoping and praying he’ll surface soon. He was crazy about that little baby. It was his life.”
Timothy Geiger said his grandson was hospitalized late last year after being hit in the head with a hammer and left for dead by a group of attackers. After leaving the hospital, Geiger said, his grandson ignored doctors’ orders to go straight home and instead went to his son. “He wasn’t in shape to go nowhere,” Geiger said. “He went to see his baby.”
Derenda said city surveillance cameras caught some of what unfolded in the Riverside neighborhood late Wednesday afternoon, but he declined to elaborate.
Officer Robert Yeates, who had been on the force for more than 20 years, and Officer John Mulderig, who graduated from the police academy last week, were flagged down as they drove by on routine patrol and were alerted to the wounded child, he said. They were calling for an ambulance when Fears approached.
“I believe they were in fear for their lives,” Derenda said.
Both officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for such cases. Though both are expected to return to work soon, according to WKBW-TV.
The Buffalo News is reporting that Fears may have been suffering from some form of mental illness. Neighbors and family friends all say that she was a good person who was protective of neighborhood children. Some claim she was bi-polar, though this has not been officially confirmed.
Darrell Fears, Charlene’s husband told The News that his late wife was no monster.
“She really loved him,” he said. “She cared about him a lot. Something just went horribly wrong.”