HAYWARD -- A 62-year-old woman fatally shot by police this week at a city apartment complex threatened officers with a replica handgun before she was killed, police said Thursday.

The woman, whose name is being withheld by this newspaper due to the sensitivity of the case, also left a suicide note in her home, police added.

"We recovered a handwritten note from her home indicating she wanted to end her life over some family problems," Sgt. Mark Ormsby said Thursday.

The woman, who lived in the home with her 23-year-old son, was shot by Hayward¿ police about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, just moments after they arrived at the Summerwood Apartment Homes at 21701 Foothill Blvd.

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Pleasanton police had requested a welfare check on her because they were told she might be depressed, Sgt. Eric Melendez said. The woman had made several calls to police in Pleasanton and Hayward on the night of the shooting; Melendez said she was upset about the recent arrest of her son on drug and weapons charges.

When two Hayward officers knocked on the woman's door Tuesday night, she opened the door holding what appeared to be a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, according to a police report. The officers retreated to safety and the woman slammed the door shut; moments later, she opened the door and began walking toward the officers, pointing the gun at them.

Police, who had retreated to the ground floor, ordered the woman to drop the gun, but she did not. One officer fired four to five shots, and the woman staggered and fell down the stairs.

Officials have not said how many shots hit the woman or where she was struck. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.

After the shooting, officers searched the apartment and found a handwritten note indicating that the woman wanted to end her life over her recent family problems, police said.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office now on the scene of Hayward shooting. (Natalie Alund/Bay Area News Group)
Alameda County Sheriff's Office now on the scene of Hayward shooting. (Natalie Alund/Bay Area News Group)

The officer who fired was not identified, but police said he has been on the force for one year. Both officers who fired shots were on administrative leave Thursday, a standard practice after an officer-involved shooting.

On Jan. 24, undercover officers from the Pleasanton Police Department served a search warrant at the woman's apartment and found guns, drugs and other contraband, said Pleasanton police Sgt. Ted Young.

The woman was cited but later released; her son was arrested and remains in custody, charged with dealing heroin and possession of automatic weapons.

On Thursday the woman's son was taken into federal custody, according to Young.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Explosives Control has taken over that case.

Hayward police are investigating the shooting along with the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Staff writer Karina Ioffee contributed to this report. Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.