It is not clear at this point what led to the confrontation, but D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told the Post that the woman was carrying more than one knife.
She also said the incident took place near the scene of a fire, which they had responded to along with firefighters.
Then the woman, who was wearing goggles and holding the knives, emerged and confronted police.
Two witnesses spoke to the Post:
One witness, Gerald McBrayer, said the woman was holding “a little steak knife” and received no warning.
Another witness, Nathan Strickland, said the woman had a steak knife with what he described as a “skinny,” 6-to-8-inch blade.
More witnesses on Twitter say the crowd was trying to deescalate the situation and point out that another cop on the scene did not even have his gun drawn.
We will probably see more videos surface in the next few hours that may shed more light on this incident, but witnesses on Twitter are saying the cop fired in haste.