By D. Brian Burghart
The pain 18-year-old Brittnie Andrews suffered on October 13 is beyond understanding. In the space of a few seconds, she saw her mother shoot her sister, then—a heartbeat later—watched Sparks Police Department officers mortally wound her mother, Monica Ritchey.
“I heard a gunshot, and I saw my sister [Darcie Latham] fall, and I thought, ’Oh my god, she just killed her,’” the young but decidedly forthright woman said. “And then the cops started to walk forward, and I heard shots. They were shooting my mom. Then I heard, ’Keep your guns on her,’ and I realized there was a second set of cops on the other side of my mom. … After they had shot my mom, I heard them saying, ’Keep the guns on her, her hand’s moving.’”
Sparks Police officer Kim Hodge and other officers loaded Latham and Andrews into Hodge’s cruiser. “And that was it,” said Andrews. “We went around the corner and waited for an ambulance.”
It was a crime scene of the sort that makes news producers and editors drool—police and perps with guns blazing, a family in distress, blood in the street and sudden death in quiet suburbia. The only problem was that the local news media was asleep at the press, and apparently nobody—not the newspapers, not the television news stations, not the radio stations, not the all-seeing internet—got this story right. They didn’t even bother to find out or to report the victim’s names. Here’s KOLO TV’s story. It’s only remarkable by the volume of inaccurate information reported that was never corrected
. The police report can be read at http://bit.ly/Npjegh
For the complete story, check out the Reno News & Review
About this series: In Fatal Encounters, the RN&R will look at the stories, statistics and impacts of police use of deadly force.
Death in the afternoon: Here’s one example of a woman killed by police who never had her name mentioned in the media.