Friends and family are questioning why a 61-year-old woman was fatally shot by Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies who say she confronted them with a knife.

The shooting happened just after midnight Saturday when three deputies responded to reports of breaking glass and loud pounding at a tri-plex in the San Jose area.

Officials say at least one deputy opened fire when the knife-wielding woman refused orders to drop the weapon.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman's husband and friends are asking why the deputies used deadly force rather than finding another way to subdue.

The sheriff's department is investigating the incident.