Report On Police Shooting Of Veterinarian Released


The investigation into the police shooting of a Payson veterinary clinic owner who threatened suicide to friends and then turned her gun on officers who subsequently shot her in the head has been completed.

As reported several weeks ago by the Roundup, the report exonerates Payson Police Sgt. David Blalock and Officer Jared Meredith, who fired at Jacque Rae Rosholm Feb. 11, of any wrongdoing.

Rosholm will not face charges because of the severity of injuries she suffered. She is not able to stand trial, said Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores.

The report by the Arizona Department of Public Safety with more than 200 pages describes accounts by various friends, relatives and police personnel about what happened on the day of the shooting.

Sometime during the day, Rosholm, 48, told a friend on the phone that it was time she goes to meet her mother, who had died earlier in the year. Rosholm said she wanted to commit suicide at the hospital so her organs could be donated immediately afterward.

She told the friend that if anyone at the hospital tried to keep her from suicide she would kill anybody who tried to stop her.

The friend said Rosholm sounded drunk because of her slurred speech.

Rosholm also spoke with another longtime friend on the phone and said she planned to commit suicide Feb. 12 at the Payson Regional Medical Center. For more than two hours, the friend tried to talk Rosholm out of it.

After the call, the friend called Rosholm's daughter, Scarlett, to tell her Rosholm was serious about committing suicide.

Scarlett called Rosholm who said, "no one cared about her" and she was going to kill herself.

While speaking with Rosholm on the phone, Scarlett heard a possible gun shot and the call was disconnected. Scarlett called back several times, but got no answer.

After repeatedly trying to get through to Rosholm, Scarlett's roommate called 911 to report a possible suicide. Scarlett's roommate said Rosholm had attempted suicide 10 years prior.

Sgt. John Heflin, Officer Daniel Klimut, Officer Meredith and Sgt. Blalock responded to Rosholm's residence on East Granite Dells Road.

Blalock and Heflin decided to split up into two teams when they arrived at the residence. Each team would have both lethal and less lethal weapons.

Heflin carried a beanbag shotgun, Klimut an AR-15 rifle, Blalock a 12-gauge shotgun and Meredith a Taser and semi-automatic handgun.

Heflin and Klimut went around the west side of the house and Blalock and Meredith the east.

Scarlett's roommate told the officers Rosholm had several guns in the house and liked to sit on the back patio.

Rosholm's friend warned Blalock and Meredith to watch out for her white German Shepherd attack dog that was trained to attack and "would kill you."

While on the side of the house, the two officers talked about tactics if they should encounter the dog.

While talking, Blalock and Meredith "noticed a silhouette of a person on the elevated east deck."

Blalock said in the report, "I saw a human, the silhouette of a human being in the pitch black step out. The first thing I got was a weird eerie feeling, like goose bumps."

The silhouette suddenly materialized from around the corner.

They trained their guns and flashlights on the figure and saw Rosholm bent over at the waist with her forearms on the deck railing and hands together.

The officers realized Rosholm had a gun pointing directly at them.

Rosholm asked the officers if they had their guns pointed at her. Blalock said her voice sounded eerie and scary.

Blalock told Rosholm to drop her weapon, she ignored him.

Heflin and Klimut heard Blalock give the commands and were attempting to reach them from the other side of the home.

The two officers, fearing for their lives, fired at Rosholm, Blalock twice and Meredith once.

Rosholm was hit once in the head.

She was flown to a Scottsdale hospital.

While searching the home, officers found a .22 caliber revolver and .38 Winchester.

They also found a .38 Special Colt lying on the ground below the deck in the cocked position.

A coworker of Rosholm's said he had noticed a change in her behavior two weeks prior.

She had a problem with her daughter's boyfriend, appeared upset daily and decided to break contact with the outside world and stay on her property.

In the report, DPS recommended Rosholm be charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, class 2 felonies.

Flores said she would not prosecute Rosholm because she suffered a debilitating head injury.

Even though her conduct merits prosecution, Flores feels it is unlikely she will ever recover from her injuries to a point she would be considered competent to stand trial.

Payson Police Chief Don Engler said situations like this are unfortunate. Officers have to approach them and defend their lives.

"No one knows what was in Rosholm's mind, but I am thankful no officers were killed," Engler said.

"Officers in a situation like that don't have time to discriminate," Engler said. "They are taught to hit the center mass."

Whose bullet struck Rosholm, has not been determined, Engler said.

Last year, there were no other officer-involved shootings in Payson, he said.

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