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Woman shot and killed after lunging at police officer with knife in Temple Terrace

Posted at 3:28 PM, May 29, 2020

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. -- A woman was shot and killed after trying to attack an officer with a large knife, according to police in Temple Terrace.

The Temple Terrace Police Department responded to the woman's call for help outside Temple Terrace's City Hall at about 1:15 p.m. Friday. For reasons unknown to police, the woman, later identified as 21-year-old Heba Momtaz Alazhari, then tried to attack an officer with a large knife.

The officer, after telling Alazhari to drop the knife repeatedly, shot the woman, police said. The woman was then taken to the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, police said.

Surveillance video from outside the building shows the woman holding a large "butcher knife" in her right hand as she lunges toward the officer.

"This officer did everything he could," said Chief Kenneth Albano. "It’s a very unfortunate situation but there was no alternative."

The officer suffered minor injuries during the attack.

"I hope everybody will watch this video and see that a knife this big being slung," said Albano. "And the officer repeatedly saying drop the knife, drop the knife and retreating."

According to a spokesperson for Alazhari's family, she is the sister of Muhammed Momtaz Alazhari, the man federal agents arrested this week for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack in Tampa Bay on behalf of ISIS.

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State Attorney Andrew Warren and an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would neither confirm or deny the connection on Friday.