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Family: Woman shot, killed by Denver deputies had mental illness

8:23 PM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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AURORA - The woman who was shot and killed by a Denver Sheriff's Deputy on Wednesday suffered from mental health issues, according to her family.

Two deputies arrived at Moralez's apartment building to serve her with an arrest warrant Wednesday. When they knocked on her door, Moralez pulled out a gun and shot one of the deputies in the hand.

The other deputy shot back and killed Moralez.

"I am so shocked. I know my cousin. I don't think my cousin would do something like that," her cousin said.

Moralez's cousin asked not to be named. She said Moralez was a kind person who suffered from mental health issues for years.

The cousin says Moralez recently received help for her mental illness within the last month. She says Moralez was a good person who cared so much about her children that she couldn't bear to be without them.

"She would not give up her kids," she said.

Another family member said Ronette grew paranoid with her mental illness, which might explain why she reached for a gun when deputies knocked at her door.

"The suspect came out, produced a weapon and shot one of the deputies in the hand. The deputy that was accompanying the other deputy returned fire, striking the suspect," Denver Police spokesperson Sonny Jackson said.

Moralez's cousins don't condone what she did, but they also believe there's more to the story than deputies are telling.

"Something had to happen differently for her to take it like that," Moralez's cousin said.

The family released the following statement Thursday:

We are relieved that the officer that was wounded is in recovery. We hope it is a full recovery. We are also deeply concerned about the officer that was forced to end Ronette's life. We are hopeful that his sense of duty, professional resources and most of all his loving family and friends will expedite his peace of mind. Nonetheless from time to time he will revisit this tragic event many times for the rest of his life. We are inclined to assist in any way, be it now or twenty years down the line.

Death is painful for only one group of people. The living. Ronette is at peace, as are all those who have ever died. We were able to cherish life with her and we will always cherish her memory in our lives. Ronette was a beautiful woman, compassionate mother, the most caring of sisters and dearest of daughters. She will be deeply missed. Ronette expressed a deep faith in God. However she was not a member of any religious organization. She was aware of one fact; true peace can only come from one source. We encourage everyone to find that source.

Moralez has a criminal past. She had been charged with child abuse before.

The deputy who was shot in the hand is going to be fine, police say.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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