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Phoenix-area police shoot, kill woman with Asperger’s

Danielle Jacobs and Samson in a training video she posted online in January 2015. (Screenshot)

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman with Asperger’s, who posted a video of her service dog stopping her from self-harm that went viral, was shot and killed by police in Mesa.

Danielle Jacobs, 24, died at a hospital Thursday, hours after the fatal confrontation.

She had been threatening suicide with a knife, the New York Daily News reported, then turned on officers, who defended themselves.

Jacob’s mother also said police had responded to a suicide call at the apartment near Loop 202 and Brown Road late that morning.


In June, Jacobs posted a video of herself having a sobbing meltdown in her Tempe apartment. The dog she trained, Samson, comforted her and interfered with the punches she delivered to her head and chest.

The video racked up over 5 million views in a short amount of time but has since gone private. Other videos Jacobs posted of herself and Samson remain public on YouTube, including some posted this week.

Samson is with Jacobs’ mother.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a shooting.

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