Pasco deputies shoot, kill woman who threatened them with knife, officials say

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating after Pasco deputies shot a woman who threatened them with a knife in Hudson on Thursday afternoon.

The incident started about 3:30 p.m. at a pet cemetery near Denton Avenue and Dane Lane, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference. Isabella North, 29, had flagged down a passerby and said she needed help.

The passerby called 911 and put North on the phone with the dispatcher, Nocco said. According to Nocco, North told the dispatcher: “I really feel like I’m going to kill somebody,” and “I have been diagnosed as clinically insane.” She also told the dispatcher she had a knife.

“Clearly we have somebody who was homicidal and who was armed,” Nocco said.

Deputies Joshua Yanzer and William Miller arrived, but when they started talking to North, she pulled a 12-inch knife from her waistband and raised it above her head in an “attacking position,” Nocco said.

Body-worn camera footage released by the sheriff’s office shows the incident unfolded in about 30 seconds. In the video, Yanzer greets North by her first name and asks her how she’s doing. North’s response is inaudible. Yanzer asks her, “So what’s going on today? What are your thoughts here,” and then North draws the knife from her waistband.

“You mind just throwing that down?” Yanzer asks.

North raises the knife above her head and holds her other arm out in a defensive stance.

“Don’t do that,” Yanzers says, drawing his gun. “Don’t do that. Please don’t do that. Put that down.”

Both deputies continue to tell North to put the knife down. She continues to approach them, quickening her pace. Each deputy fires one shot, and North falls to the ground.

She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Nocco said no deputies were hurt in the incident.

“It’s a very sad situation,” Nocco said. “The deputies are all trained in de-escalation, however, the subject did not allow us to talk to her. They did not allow us to de-escalate the situation.”

The sheriff’s office did not say how long Yanzer and Miller have worked for the agency, but said they have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine after incidents like these.

“I watched the BWC (body-worn camera footage). I listened to the 911 call. Those deputies did what they had to do,” Nocco said. “Those deputies prevented a homicide.”