UPDATE: Danielle Jacobs was apparently in the process of transitioning from a woman to a man named Kayden Clarke as you can see on this YouTube channel.
In yet another reminder why we should never call police to assist with a suicidal person, Arizona police shot and killed a suicidal woman after responding to calls from people who expected they would save her from suicide.
The woman was Danielle Jacobs, 24, who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a type of autism which increases the chances of depression.
Jacobs last year made international news by posting videos about her condition and how her adopted dog, Samson, helped her cope with it.
On Wednesday, Jacobs was feeling suicidal and had contacted friends to come take her dog from her. Her friends, in turn, called the Mesa Police Department, which we wrote about last month for shooting and killing an unarmed man who had been seen with a pellet gun.
On Thursday, Mesa police responded to her home and said she was armed with a knife.
They said she came charging at them, making them fear for their lives, so they had to kill her.
According to AZ Family:
Detective Esteban Flores with the Mesa Police Department said around 11 a.m., police received multiple calls about a suicidal woman.
When officers made contact with her, she stated she had a knife and was going to hurt herself. Flores said she came at both officers with the knife, and they fired their duty weapons.
“She had one knife that we know of, she had something else we’re not sure what it was, the officers said it was dark inside the room,” Flores said. “When she made contact with them she approached them with the knife, extended it out, and they felt threatened.”
Jacobs had adopted Samson from Helping Animals Live On (HALO) in Phoenix where she also volunteered. She trained the Rottweiler to become a service dog. Samson is now in the care of Jacobs’ mother.
Heather Allen, the president and CEO of HALO, knew Jacobs. Allen said she received some concerning emails from Jacobs Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Allen said Jacobs asked her to take care of Sampson if something happened to her.
Allen called the police to check on Jacobs and was told officers were already on their way.
“Next I heard, she had been shot,” Allen said.
Mesa police say they will provide an update on the incident during a press conference at 4:30 p.m. EST.
Below is the video that went viral, showing her struggles with Asperger’s and how Samson would help her cope with that illness.
Police, unfortunately, continue to prove they have absolutely no training in how to cope with suicidal people.
UPDATE II: The Arizona Republic provides more information about Jacobs’ transition from female to male, saying the stress of that changed may have contributed to the suicidal incident.
A transgender man who gained attention after a YouTube video showing him suffering an Asperger’s syndrome-related meltdown went viral was confirmed as the person shot dead Thursday by Mesa police officers.
Police identified him by his legal name, Danielle Jacobs, but friends said they knew him as Kayden Clarke. Clarke had hoped to transition from female to male but, in chronicling his journey on YouTube, said he faced numerous obstacles in the process because of his autism-spectrum disorder.
Mesa police said the 24-year-old was killed by officers responding to a suicidal-person call at his home on Thursday.
Those who knew him said the combination of trying to transition, the Asperger’s and other health issues weighed on him.
Mesa police said the incident was not captured on body cam nor have they released the names of the officers.