A 91-year-old woman who was allegedly armed with a shotgun and shot by deputies outside her Spring Valley Lake, Calif. home Saturday morning succumbed to her injuries Monday morning, authorities said.
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Jodi Miller said Betty Francois was pronounced dead at the hospital at 6:15 a.m.
In a statement Monday morning, Sheriff's officials originally said Francois remained hospitalized after being airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.
Francois was shot after deputies responded to a 911 call just after 9:30 a.m. Saturday regarding "unknown subjects attempting to break into" a home in the 17800 block of Sunburst Road.
Miller confirmed Monday evening that Francois made the 911 call. Sheriff's officials said deputies arrived and Francois allegedly exited the home armed with a shotgun.
"Deputies gave her commands to drop the gun, then she pointed the gun at the deputies, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred," sheriff's officials said.
Detectives from the Sheriff's Specialized Investigations Division arrived on scene and assumed the investigation.
When asked how many rounds deputies fired at Francois, Miller said that was not being released due to the ongoing investigation.
Miller confirmed Francois lived at the Spring Valley Lake home, adding that deputies found no "subjects" near the home and no sign of intruders at the property.
Susan DeLemus, a relative of Francois, told the Daily Press on Monday that the woman was legally blind and deaf.
DeLemus, a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, described Francois as a "precious and petite little lady."
"She was born in 1929, and the police felt so threatened by her that they had to shoot her," DeLemus said. "We've all been strong, faithful and trying to make the best of a bad situation. ... The entire family is upset and concerned. Everyone one of us is very upset by the entire situation."
DeLemus said her husband, Jerry DeLemus, is Francois' nephew. She said the two were very close.
Jerry DeLemus is serving a six-year prison term for his role in Cliven Bundy's armed standoff in Nevada in 2014.
Susan DeLemus said she and her husband have not been in contact for several weeks due to prisoners not being able to access phones or computers for safety reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the facility's chaplain will be relaying the message to her husband.
"When he finds out, it's going to be devastating," DeLemus said.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Det. Scott Abernathy at 909-387-3589.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at 800-782-7436 or visit www.wetip.com.
Daily Press reporter Jose Quintero may be reached at 760-951-6274 or JQuintero@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_JoseQ.
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