DALLAS -- Police Monday investigated the shooting death of a 70-year-old Sunday school teacher by a officer who said he fired at the gun-wielding grandmother because he feared for his life.
Officer M.E. Kraus, 34, who had been on the force 11 months, was responding to a burglary call when he shot Etta Collins early Sunday on her front porch because she refused to drop a revolver. The retired nurse and Sunday school teacher was struck in the chest and arm, police said.
The victim had called police about a possible burglary at a neighbor's home.
Kraus told investigators he shot the woman because he feared for his life, authorities said.
Kraus was placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the department's investigation, said police spokesman Bob Shaw. It was the 25th shooting of a suspect by a Dallas police officer this year and the ninth fatality.
A recent study by the Crime Control Institute of Washington put Dallas in third place among U.S. cities in the number of citizens killed by police officers per 100,000 population, behind New Orleans and Jacksonville, Fla.
There were conflicting reports on whether Collins had fired shots at either Kraus or a support officer.
'The other officer said he thought she fired a shot at Kraus but all Kraus has indicated is that she had that gun pointed at him twice,' said police spokesman Ed Spencer.
After being shot, Collins retreated into the house. She was found lying on a couch with a .22-caliber revolver with five empty chambers by her side. Police said they have not determined how many shots were fired.
Neighbor Jerry Walter said Collins might not have heard Kraus when he identified himself. Kraus was wearing his uniform at the time of the shooting.
'Mrs. Collins came to the door, and one officer yelled, 'Police,' but I think she thought he (Kraus) was the burglar, and she shot through the screen,' Walter said. 'Then he shot at her.'
Relatives of Collins, who lived alone, said she had been plagued with several ailments, including a collapsed lung.
'She was weak,' said Carralotta Perry, Collins' niece. 'She couldn't walk across a room without almost passing out.'
Collins had five grandchildren, who live in Portland, Ore., relatives said. She was a 20-year member of St. John Baptist Church, where she taught Bible study.