Several weeks before she was fatally shot by a Golden Valley police officer, Katherine Gordon told police in Edina that the devil was talking to her and that she needed to be locked up to prevent her from harming herself or others.

Gordon, who had just arrived in the area from California, said she believed that the "spirit" of Satan or the devil was inside her and told her told her go to the police, according to the report taken when she went to the Edina Police Department seeking help July 26.

On Thursday, Gordon was stopped on westbound Interstate 394, just west of Hwy. 169, near the Minnetonka-Golden Valley border. Police say Gordon, 58, of Altadena, Calif., had a gun at the time she was shot and killed.

A law enforcement source told the Star Tribune last week that she raised the gun in the direction of the officer moments before he shot her several times along the busy freeway. The source said the woman had been driving at speeds up to 90 miles per hour when the officer, Rob Zarrett, began pursuit.

Eight weeks earlier, when Gordon told Edina police about her concerns about herself, they drove her to nearby Fairview Southdale Hospital, at Gordon's request, according to the police report.

"They [hospital personnel] put her in a locked room after she relayed to them the same information she told me," an Edina officer wrote. "Hospital staff advised me they do not need a police hold on her because of the information she provided them."

Fairview spokeswoman Jennifer Amundson said that in cases in which no hold is required, a patient can still remain for treatment or leave at that time. However, citing privacy concerns, she declined to say what happened in Gordon's case.

Dr. Paul Richardson, who directs adult psychiatry at Fairview Southdale, said that the law allows medical personnel some discretion in deciding whether to put people on 72-hour holds. They also may drop the holds and discharge the patient early if they're cooperating and conditions change. Their rights must be respected, he said.

"We're letting challenging cases discharge from the hospital all the time," he said. "We do our best not to let people go who are a risk to themselves."

When Gordon arrived at Edina police headquarters that July morning, the report noted, she said she had driven from California and was looking for a place to live in Minnesota.

The officer reported Gordon saying "that if she is not locked up, she believes she may harm herself or others."

The report also indicated that Gordon did not have a weapon when she visited Edina police headquarters.

Friend recalls Gordon

A Golden Valley woman who said Gordon stayed with her over the past year and a half or so expressed surprise Tuesday that her friend's life would end so violently.

Charmaine Schodde said that Gordon was divorced and traveled back and forth between California and the Twin Cities to visit children and grandchildren.

Gordon's hope was to find office work in Minnesota, Schodde said, but otherwise remained a California resident in order to keep her medical benefits so her treatment for depression could continue.

"I know she struggled with depression, but she never was suicidal," Schodde said. "I find it really hard to believe that she would get out of her car and point a gun at officers."

Schodde said she came to know Gordon as a "very strong Christian woman who read her Bible every day. ... She was a nice, classy lady. I just don't want it to come out like she was this crazy person."

More revealed about officer

On Monday, Golden Valley Police Chief Stacy Carlson officially identified the officer who shot Gordon as Zarrett.

Carlson said Zarrett has been an officer on the force for 13 years. He has 16 letters of commendation in his file and "no open internal investigations/complaints against," she added.

Zarrett has been on temporary administrative leave, which is standard procedure, since the shooting.

The shooting is being investigated by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. Its investigators have yet to reveal what prompted the officer to open fire.

Zarrett was the subject of a lawsuit stemming from a 2005 incident in which he fired a stun gun at a woman as she sat in the passenger seat of a vehicle. The woman later sued the Golden Valley Police Department, and the case was settled for $250,000. He testified that he used the Taser for two to three seconds after the woman refused to hang up her phone during a traffic stop.

Staff writer Kevin Duchschere contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482