Woman dies after officer-involved shooting in Gallatin

Photo: WKRN

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman has died after she was shot during an officer-involved shooting on Chaffin Court Wednesday morning.

When a deputy with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office along with members of the Gallatin Housing Authority served Laronda Sweatt an eviction notice, she became combative and stabbed the deputy with an axe.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Gallatin police release footage of Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting

Laronda Sweatt (Courtesy: Sweatt's mother)
Laronda Sweatt (Courtesy: Sweatt’s mother)

A neighbor News 2 spoke with saw the deputy, identified as Gary Pickard, as he made his way back his car and called for back-up.

“There was an officer running up holding his side. The ambulance was coming and they run us back inside and tell us not to come outside,” said Seth Lazenby.

Three other Gallatin officers arrived at the scene and Sweatt allegedly met Officer James Spray in the street.

She allegedly backed him up to his vehicle while threatening him with the same axe she assaulted Pickard with.

As she continued advancing toward Officer Spray, he fired two shots, striking Sweatt both times.

He has been placed on routine administrative leave with pay following the shooting.

Courtesy: Gallatin Police Department
Courtesy: Gallatin Police Department

Pickard was transported to a local hospital and has since been released. He has been with the department since 2005.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is assisting with the investigation.

“We are just not even three hours into this incident. So I don’t have a whole lot of other details to tell you at this point,” said Susan Niland of the TBI.

News 2 spoke with the victim’s mother, Ella Sweatt, at the scene.

“Laronda was a very sweet, caring person until you pushed her. Laronda wasn’t violent unless you made her violent. She was a good mother, she took good care of her child. Her and I had our ups and downs, but she was my only child out of five, and I love Laronda dearly,” said Sweatt.

Gary Pickard (Courtesy: Gallatin News)
Gary Pickard (Courtesy: Gallatin News)

Neighbors News 2 spoke with said this is usually a quiet neighborhood and they can’t believe something like this happened.

“This is very scary, I have four children, three girls and one boy and they were outside playing when it happened. God forbid there was a stray bullet. This is just too close to home,” said Samantha Demonbreun.

“Laronda didn’t like to fight. All through school the child had to fight. They picked on her because she was small. Yea, she was a beautiful young lady and she’s still a beautiful lady who died. She died a beautiful lady. And i’m not gonna be satisfied until I get the truth,” said Sweatt.

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