A Riverdale Hills woman who apparently had been smoking the hallucinogen PCP died yesterday after a bizarre confrontation with Prince George's County police in which she repeatedly stabbed herself and finally was shot by an officer, police said.
Sharon Denise Araoye of 6239 64th Ave. was pronounced dead at the Prince George's Hospital Center about 11 a.m., five hours after several neighbors at the Parkview Gardens apartments watched in horror as Araoye stabbed herself with a butcher's knife in the eye, chest, abdomen and groin.
Araoye inflicted several of the wounds after Cpl. Wayne McBride fired three shots at the 26-year-old woman when she failed to obey his orders to drop the knife, police said.
"She was doing terrible, terrible things to herself," said Ritchard Mbayo, a neighbor of Araoye's who watched the episode from his second-floor balcony. "She was saying a lot of things, but I only understood one word: Jehovah."
Police were called to the apartments east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at 6:11 a.m. for a report of a fight in the building at 6239 64th Ave., said Cpl. Bruce Gentile, a police spokesman. McBride, the first officer to reach the scene, found a bleeding man leaning against a silver Datsun 280ZA in front of Araoye's apartment, police said.
The man, 29-year-old Bobby Gregory of Hyattsville, told McBride he had been stabbed several times and pointed toward Araoye's apartment, Gentile said.
"Cpl. McBride looked up and saw a naked woman standing in a window holding a butcher's knife," Gentile said.
Araoye left the apartment, Gentile said, and came outside holding a knife in one hand and a book in the other. When she passed through the door, he said, Araoye stabbed herself in the face.
The officer ordered Araoye to drop the knife, Gentile said, but she ignored him. "She kept walking toward him, all the time chanting incoherently about Satan and the devil," Gentile said.
McBride fired three times at Araoye when she came within five feet of him because he feared for the safety of the officers and numerous residents who had gathered outside to watch the incident, Gentile said.
McBride's shots hit her at least once, police said. Investigators were unable to determine how many shots hit Araoye because of the several large and deep puncture wounds inflicted by the knife, Gentile said.
Gregory, who police described as a friend of Araoye's, told investigators that they had smoked loveboat -- marijuana sprayed with liquid PCP -- prior to the incident.
"It's been proven that people under the influence of PCP sometimes develop superhuman strength and an almost total disregard for pain," Gentile said. "A normal person would have fallen after the repeated stabbings. They hardly fazed her."
An autopsy will be performed.
Gregory, of 3200 Hannon St., was taken to the Prince George's Hospital Center, where a spokeswoman said last night that he was in stable condition.
McBride, 30, a 5 1/2-year member of the police department, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting. A preliminary investigation by homicide detectives indicated that the shooting was justifiable, Gentile said.