The circumstances that led to at least one Broward sheriff’s deputy shooting and wounding an armed Dania Beach woman who charged at them on Wednesday morning keep changing.
At first, Kim Nguyen Cholak was armed with a meat cleaver and chasing another woman when deputies arrived at 103 NE Third St. at about 11:05 a.m., according to Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.
Then the meat cleaver was changed to a knife, according to a late-afternoon update from the Sheriff’s Office.
Then, after deputies could not locate the woman who was allegedly chased, Cholak, 40, confessed that she made that part of the story up, said Keyla Concepcion, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Her real goal, Cholak told investigators was to provoke a deputy into shooting and killing her, Concepcion said. “[Cholak] told detectives she fabricated the story of the attack in order to have deputies respond and commit suicide by cop.”
Cholak’s wounds were not life threatening and she was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital for treatment, the Sheriff’s Office said.
When reached by telephone Wednesday night, Cholak’s husband, said his wife of two years had been in the throes of post-partum depression since their daughter was born last spring but she had never before acted out like this.
“I don’t know exactly what happened,” Daniel Cholak, 50, said. “I went to a doctor’s appointment and everything went upside down. I know nothing.”
Kim Cholak was released from the hospital Wednesday evening and booked into the Broward Main Jail on four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. She also would undergo a mental health evaluation under the state’s Baker Act, Concepcion said.
His wife’s condition had been “getting bad” over the last week or so, Daniel Cholak said. So much so, that he had made an appointment for her to see a psychologist on Thursday — the day after she was shot and jailed.
“I don’t get it. I don’t understand it,” he said. “It’s all some kind of a personal, inside depression. It’s very sad.”
Kim Cholak is a licensed cosmetologist and has lived in Key West and Davie as well as the Southern California cities of Anaheim and Garden Grove, public records show.
Daniel Cholak said he met his wife on Match.com and they also have a son who will be 2 next month.
The children were home when the altercation with deputies played out but were kept safe and never were in danger, Daniel Cholak said.
“The little faces on the boy and the girl, when you see them smiling … it makes no sense at all,” he said. “Whatever this is, it’s more powerful than love.”
Cholak said he was told his wife was shot in the hip and for that he is grateful. “I’m glad the cop didn’t kill her or cripple her.”
His wife’s mother and sister were en route from California, Cholak said, and “everything is going to be alright.”
Sylvia Bruce works at the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center across U.S. 1 from the shooting scene.
While in the parking lot, she heard gunfire — “about two to three shots,” Bruce said.
A handcuffed man was seen nearby being taken into custody. Tony couldn’t say whether the man was somehow related to the shooting.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the deputies’ actions.
It was not disclosed how many deputies may have fired their guns, but “at least one deputy” did, sheriff’s spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said.
Per agency policy, the deputy who fired was placed on administrative leave, she said.
The neighborhood where the shooting happened is east of U.S. 1 and south of Griffin Road.
Staff writer Wayne K. Roustan and staff photographer Joe Cavaretta contributed to this report.