Mother fatally shot by deputies; sister speaks out

YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma Police Department is still investigating Tuesday night’s officer-involved shooting that left a mother of three dead. 

Melissa Ventura was shot by two Yuma County Sheriff Deputies who responded to a domestic abuse call on Avenue C near 8th street. Sgt. Lori Franklin with YPD says when the deputies arrived to the scene and knocked on the door, Ventura opened the door and attacked the deputies with a knife, “She opened the door and immediately started attacking the deputies with a knife. The deputies then discharged their duty weapons toward Ventura.” Both deputies shot Ventura. She was transported to Yuma Regional Medical center but did not survive her injuries. Police are unsure why Ventura attacked.

The homeowner of the house where the shooting occurred says she was across the street it happened. Maria Ramirez says, “I heard two shots I thought it was fireworks and I went outside and I saw a lot of police officers.” Ramirez knew Ventura and says she spoke to her on the phone the day before the shooting, “I was talking to her yesterday and she was so happy because she had a baby, a two month old baby, and she said she’s fine.” Ramirez says she is shocked by the situation, “I’m surprised, I don’t know what happened.”

Tiffany Ventura, Melissa’s sister, says she and her family are devastated by the incident. “Last night I lost my sister, I don’t know what happened. She was mother of three, and she lived for her kids,” says Ventura, “She was the heart and soul of my family.” She asks for thoughts and prayers for her family and that Melissa’s children will know how much they meant to their mother, “I don’t know what we are going to do without her the only thing I can say is that her kids will know how much she loved them.”

The Yuma Police Department encourages anyone with any information about this case to please call them at (928) 373-4700 or 78-Crime at (928) 782-7463 to remain anonymous.

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