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Navajo Leaders Outraged No Charges Filed In Officer Shooting

Courtesy of Floranda Dempsey
Loreal Tsingine was shot five times and killed by Winslow Officer Austin Shipley on March 27.

Navajo leaders and community members are outraged and are petitioning for a federal investigation into the shooting death of a Navajo woman last March. The Maricopa County Attorney said Friday he will not press charges against the police officer involved. 

“There is clearly something wrong when an officer who is over 6-feet tall and well over 200 pounds uses deadly force on a person who weighed less than 100 pounds,” Navajo Speaker LoRenzo Bates said. “Why did officer Shipley feel it was necessary to shoot Loreal repeatedly? That is a question that must be answered and the Navajo Nation will not rest until the federal government investigates.” 

Arizona Department of Public Safety authorities said on March 27 Winslow police officer Austin Shipley responded to a report of shoplifting at a local convenience store.

Shipley said Loreal Tsingine threatened him with scissors, when he tried to arrest her. Authorities said Shipley fired five shots at Tsingine, killing her. 

Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.