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Woman who allegedly threatened lawmakers shot dead by police

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:34 PM EST, Mon December 26, 2011
Jameela Barnette was killed Sunday after she tried to attack a police officer at her home near Atlanta, police said.
Jameela Barnette was killed Sunday after she tried to attack a police officer at her home near Atlanta, police said.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The woman, Jameela Barnette, was killed as she tried to attack an officer, police said
  • She had been charged with sending threatening packages to two lawmakers
  • Both packages contained threatening letters and one contained a hoax WMD
  • U.S. Rep. Peter King and New York State Sen. Greg Ball received the packages

Atlanta (CNN) -- A woman charged with sending threatening packages to two lawmakers, including a U.S. representative, was killed Sunday after she tried to attack a police officer at her home near Atlanta, police and the lawmakers said Monday.

Jameela Barnette, 53, was armed with a knife and handgun when a police officer knocked on her door on Christmas morning as he responded to reports of an alarm inside, Cobb County Police said.

She opened the door and started assaulting the officer with the weapons, police said. The officer shot her, and Barnette died at the scene.

Barnette was the same woman who sent threatening packages earlier this year to U.S. Rep. Peter King of New York and New York State Sen. Greg Ball, their offices said Monday.

Barnette was indicted in U.S. District Court in Atlanta in October on two counts of sending threatening packages. She pleaded not guilty in November and was released on $20,000 bond, according to court records.

Earlier this month, the court also ordered Barnette to undergo a mental evaluation.

The package sent to Ball contained a hoax weapon of mass destruction, said Ball spokeswoman Brittany Oat.

The indictment said it contained threatening messages and a vial of an unknown liquid, labeled "Zyklon B," which Barnette indicated was a biological agent or toxin. The vial of liquid was in fact perfume oil, according to CNN affiliate WXXA-TV in Albany, the New York state capital, which spoke to Barnette in April.

The package also contained a toy monkey wearing the Star of David, as shown in photos released by Ball's office.

Barnette told WXXA-TV she was a grandmother and a Muslim upset with Ball for holding hearings earlier this year on New York City's vulnerability to terrorism.

"He keeps messing with Muslims," Barnette told the station in April. "Muslims have not been harassing anyone."

Barnette said she was not a threat and did not want people to think she was a dangerous person for sending the package.

A representative for Barnette could not be reached Monday.

Also in April, Barnette sent a bloody severed pig's foot and note to King's office on Capitol Hill, King said Monday. The package never reached King or his staffers because all mail to the U.S. Capitol is screened.

The note was laced with anti-Semitic rants, including statements such as "evil Jews will return this hoof to Palestine," a congressional source familiar with the situation said at the time. King is not Jewish.

"The woman, who called me a 'Muslim basher,' wrote 'kiss my black Muslim ass,'" King said in a statement Monday.

"I believe this was all a result of the blind and false hysteria stirred up by opponents of the radicalization hearings I convened in March," King said.

The officer who fired on Barnette on Sunday was treated for his injury and released at the scene, and is now on administrative leave pending investigation, according to the police department in suburbuan Atlanta.

CNN's Ashley Corum, Carol Cratty, Sara Pratley, and Melissa Gray contributed to this report.

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