By TOM HAYS
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK- Police shot and killed a 65-year-old woman on Thursday after she allegedly stabbed her across-the-hall neighbor in a possible dispute over her cat and then refused orders to drop her knife.
The cat, Dickie, suffered a serious stab wound to its right eye.
It was the second time in less than a week that police killed a knife-wielding person. In each case, the victim had a history of mental illness.
A police official, Paul Browne, defended both shootings, saying they "appeared to be within departmental guidelines."
The latest shooting occurred on Staten Island at about 8:15 a.m. Thursday after three police officers responded to a report of an assault in progress at a two-story apartment house in the Bay Terrace section. A handyman said he had witnessed the woman, Stephanie Lindboe, grabbing her neighbor Linda Padula by her hair and repeatedly stabbing her in the head, neck and shoulder with a kitchen knife.
The officers, who were in plain clothes but had their badges displayed, found Padula, 59, bleeding profusely and pleading for help just inside the door of her apartment.
As one of the officers went to her aid, Lindboe flung open the door of the apartment across the hall and brandished the knife over her head with both hands, police said.
The officer tried to retreat, and civilian witnesses heard him shout, "Police! Drop the knife! Drop the knife!"
Lindboe continued to move toward the officer, knife still raised, prompting him to fire two shots, police said. One shot hit her in the chest.
The woman was pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital; Padula was in serious condition with eight stab wounds.
Neighbors told police they had been upset over Dickie's peeing and pooping in the hallway and that may have sparked the stabbing. It was unclear how the cat was wounded; it was being treated at an animal hospital.
Family members told investigators Lindboe had been under psychiatric care, but they gave no specifics about her illness.
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On Monday, officers shot an emotionally disturbed man in the South Bronx after he attacked family members, including a toddler, with a knife and a hammer, police said. The 24-year-old man was attacking his sister with the knife and refused to drop it when they arrived, police said.