Deputies in Loudoun County, Virginia, shot and killed a woman they say lunged at them with a knife after hurting another woman and a teenage girl, authorities say.
About 4 a.m. Friday, the deputies arrived to the apartment on Ellicott Square in the Potomac Falls area of Sterling and saw 36-year-old Faubricia Virtaux Gainer near the apartment's entrance and armed with a knife, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said.
Despite the deputies' commands for her to drop the weapon, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said Gainer wouldn't let go of the knife.
The deputies then shot her after she lunged at them with the knife, Chapman said.
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As deputies tried to aid to Gainer, other deputies went into the apartment and found that a 38-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl had suffered stab wounds during an apparent argument with Gainer, authorities said.
Two other children in the apartment were not injured, the sheriff's office said.
Gainer was taken to a hospital and later died.
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The woman and teen who were stabbed were taken to a hospital. Their injuries are not life-threatening, the sheriff's office said.
It wasn't immediately clear how many deputies fired at Gainer, but none were injured, authorities said. Chapman said he believes that officers were wearing body cameras.
Chapman said the two women had been friends, and he believes the children inside were in a back bedroom and did not witness the shooting.
“I don’t think they witnessed it, I think she was outside in the stairwell or outside the front door when it all occurred,” Chapman said. “However, it’s always tragic when somebody loses their life in these incidents.”
A neighbor who lives across the hall from the apartment told News4 she could hear everything and saw some of the aftermath of the shooting.
"So, I woke up and I was hearing the kids were screaming and crying," she said in a phone interview. She did not want to be identified.
She said minutes later the deputies showed up.
"That's when I hear, 'Hey, drop the weapon, drop the weapon!' and that's when I hear the shooting," she said.
The neighbor said she looked through her window and saw the woman bleeding and naked on the hallway floor. She said she was still trying to fight with deputies while they tried to save her life.
Chapman said the children who were in the apartment are safe and receiving care.
The two deputies who opened fire are on paid administrative leave while Virginia State Police investigate the shooting.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.