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Slaying suspect broke through back window as police kept watch in front, sources say [Updated]

Ois2The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating how a woman who had filed a domestic abuse report was slain in her Mid-City apartment late Wednesday night as officers were watching it while on the lookout for the suspect.

According to LAPD sources, the chain of events began when the unidentified woman went to the Wilshire Division police station to report that she was a victim of domestic abuse.

Officers who specialize in domestic violence talked to the woman and, at some point, drove her back to her home near Cochran Avenue and Pico Boulevard. Law enforcement sources said the officers went into the apartment with the woman to make sure the suspect was not there. They thoroughly checked the apartment and then went to their car.

The officers decided to keep watch on the street, worried that the suspect might come to cause trouble,  sources said. Police believe the man sneaked into the apartment through a small back window, sources said, possibly scaling the roof to get there. The sources spoke on the condition that they not be named because LAPD policy does not allow public comments on open cases.

The officers heard the woman's screams, ran into the apartment and saw a man stabbing the woman. They opened fire, fatally wounding the attacker.

He and the woman were taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where they later died.

[Updated at 4:51 p.m. LAPD Capt. Eric Davis said at a news conference this afternoon at the Wilshire Division station that the officers went beyond the call of duty in their attempts to protect the woman.

“The fact is, we're talking about a horrible tragedy — domestic violence. And in this instance, domestic violence has reared its ugly head in the worst form and we have the tragic murder,” Davis said.]

Neighbors described the victim as a friendly woman with a 3-year-old daughter who had moved in a few months ago.

A neighbor said she was walking about midnight Wednesday from her father’s home on Pico Boulevard  to her apartment on South Cochran Avenue when she heard screams. When she got closer, she saw two officers running upstairs to the apartment where the victim lived. The officers were screaming, “Open the door! Open the door!” the witness told The Times.

“They were trying so bad to get in because I think they were watching through the window what was going on,” the witness said.

Another neighbor said the woman had been planning a birthday party for her daughter. “I care a lot for that little girl,” she said.

—Andrew Blankstein, Baxter Holmes and My-Thuan Tran

More photos: Stabbing and officer-involved shooting leave two dead

Photo: A woman who identified herself as a friend of the female victim weeps while talking on a phone. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

State finds no evidence of mass grave disturbances at Valley Jewish cemetery

Times/USC poll discussed on KCRW (in case you missed it)

LAPD probes how woman under police protection was slain with officers nearby

Two die in Mid-City stabbing and officer-involved shooting

Comments () | Archives (66)

Ok...now to all the folks who did their cop-bashing in the comment threads of previous articles...the officers took her home, went inside, checked the apartment for the presence of the suspect, then stayed outside to keep an eye out for him. To all of you who swear they dropped the ball on this one, I ask - What else would you have had them do?

why weren't these cops out there shooting people's dogs for no reason?

This is a sad tragedy! How in the world can Los Angeles Police be that close and not be able to save a victim of domestic abuse? Who is responsible for their training?

Kennedy N. Collins
55th County Central Committee, REPUBLICAN

I know many police officers, too many have become lazy. If this was their relative, this would not have happened. Cops are horrible.

Yeah, the officer oppened fire too late...he already had fatally stabbed her.Addcording to witness, officers still took their time scraming "Open the door" instead of taking accion into braking the door immediatelly at first scream! and should have shot the attacker! Officer still took time to look through window!!!What type of individuals do we have for Cops in LA? We don't have enought efficient police now days...Cops are good just to pick up corps!

Stalking Legislation needs to be increased to provide training, resources and services to All forms of stalking crimes for the victims. Domestic, Gang Recruiters, Organized Stalking, Bullies at the Work and School Place. A trained staff and volunteers to work with the victim, police and DA's office to document the stalking activity and hold them accountable BEFORE they strike. What good is a restraining order if the only one watching is the victim? A trained staff member or trained volunteer should have stayed overnight with this woman.


no what kind of watching were the cops doing? think there was another way in other than the front door? charges to these cops should be brought up immediately. these morons didn't care about the lady.

Blaming the police will not bring the murdered woman back. I just feel sorry for the poor little girl who's now without a mother because of an abusive you-know-what! :(

Wow the cops were outsmarted by a felon!! Who would have thought it? The felon.

in case you didn't read the articles, because there is more than one in today's LA TIMES; the front door was a metal security door therefore more difficult to try to bust open and the apartment was on the second floor and possibly had no windows toward the front part of the apartment. There was a witness who testify that the officers were frantically trying to get in. We all feel horrible for this incident but really, what could they have been done differently. They inspected the apartment it was safe and they returned to their patrol car. The officers did everything they could within their means, they follow protocol in D.V. calls, escorted her home and saw that it was safe. Maybe, just maybe, they could have escorted her to a battered woman's shelter, but we don't know what she reported to them, and obviously she had no signs of physical abuse therefore they didn't make that decision to take her to a shelter. I am sure these officers are now wondering what more they could have done to save this woman. I commend them for their work, as we all should instead of bashing them for being in the line of fire each and everyday protecting society.

Seriously. These cops did everything they could and were supposed to do. If this guy knew an alternate route into the building, how were they supposed to know? Should we have locked down the building because of 1 person? Do you realize how much this would have cost the city?

Not that cost is of any issue for the persons life, but for the logistics of actually making this happen in EVERY case to avoid future incidents such as this one is a ridiculous assumption.

They did what they could and followed their rule book. Maybe they could have saved her if they knocked down the door 1st and asked questions later, but how would you feel if that was you and it was a mistake and they shot the wrong person.

You people who hate cops just for the sake of hating them need to wise-up. I am not a fan either, but at least I understand and take the time to evaluate the situation for what it was . . . An unavoidable tragedy.

In San Diego, SDPD would not have even watched the front. They would have left and told the victim her safety is her own problem.

Here's an idea.....wheh the "cops" tell you to go to a safe house or a relatives home and not stay where the bad guy can get to you....maybe you should listen!!!!!!

Many people don't understand that the police, the majority of the time, can't stop a crime from happening. She should of been armed, the police usually arrive after the damage is done. Unless you expect the police to be psychic's and know what is going to happen before it happens.

To bad she wasn't armed with a gun.

To bad this woman wasn't armed. To bad the police weren't in the house when this ahole broke in. Maybe as part of filing a domestic abuse report the police train you to use a fire arm and get you armed. For all the men who can't handle when your women want's to get away from you, just split. Go have a damm drink or something. This guy really showed his woman didn't he. And look at him now.

You cop haters are a bunch of jerks. They yelled open the door while running up the stairs so the perpetrator would know they were there since it takes time to run up stairs and kick a door down. Sad fact.. if someone really wants to kill a person there is nothing anyone can do. It takes seconds to breakthrough a window annd stab/shoot a person. Would you have the cops sit in her bedroom with her? Maybe she didn't want that. They were not obligated to even sit out there all night watching her house. If they hear a scream it is natural to look up at the window where they saw she was under attack. I'm sorry but cops are not superman. It takes a few seconds to get out a car and run up to an apartment. That is not lazy!

Wow reading the earlier posts makes me wonder if people can really process reality. Law enforcement. Such a thankless job. It's usually always the officer(s) didn't take the proper measures to evaluate the threat and used lethal force too soon or in this case, the officers took too long to evaluate the threat before using lethal force. One knife wound through the heart or lungs is enough to kill a person so to call out their training or response time is unreasonable. I think the real problem is this state's criminal system. So many felons sitting on death row bidding and appealing and so many other violent criminals are given shorter sentences due to over crowding. The antisocial elements of society have no fear of the law. Bring back the hangman's noose and the firing squad and start cleaning up the filth that's infecting our society.

Oh give me a break!!

They sat in their patrol car in front of the apartment. Wow, who would have thought that the property had a back to it.

There should have been one at the back. basic surveillance protocol, even a child of 11 could have thought of that, but maybe it is not cozy and warm standing outside.

Drop the ball - they didn't even have it their hands!

Here is what I experienced. While working a domestic violence assignement as a volunteer I went on a ride along with law enforcement. This was a special assignment and we were to respond to domestic calls. On the last call of the night the office drove around and around. At first I thought maybe he was lost...after about 30 min or so we drove up to the address, as we got there one officer said to another see if you wait long enough they all quite down. On this night this was the only domestic call we got that night. Also, the cops in the car never got out to even knock on the door to see if everyone was ok. They just drove by and the house was all dark and quite and they assumed that everything was fine. Now I'm not saying that these two officers took a domestic call for granted I have no idea what she said to the police, how long she was in the apartment. There are so many factors that could have played into this situation. I hope that the officers learn from their mistake. I don't know what they could have done differently but they could have stayed inside with her if for no other reason then to have her hurry up. Of course hind sight 20/20 I guess they didn't secure the location as well as they thought they did. He was determinded to kill her he had hours to sit and think of ways in and out of that place. He did what he had wanted to do all along.

Thank god he is dead, cant hurt anyone else. RIP to the woman, my condolences to both families.

you cop haters are a bunch of empty headed morons.I hope the day will come when you need one. some may not be very good, but then look at yourself.

I highly doubt the cops knocked politely as they were asking for entrance - law enforcement officers are typically trained to yell commands *as* they take action if needed. My guess is they were trying to knock down the door as they were yelling. Yelling commands while taking action limits the ability of the the suspect from later saying, "I didn't know it was police," it alerts other officers that there is an incident (if any others are around) and acts as a warning to citizens to avoid placing themselves in danger. I was surprised to actually hear the officers had stayed and watched - having done surveillance, I can say it often takes 4-8 cars to completely cover a location and had they brought in that manpower to watch, the community would have screamed over the waste of funds if no incident occurred. This is a tragedy, but the officers did what they could (and more) given the circumstances.

Domestic abuse victims need more protection other than just sending one home and wait to be attacked at any moment or time. Even with a restraining order, a sick person like the stabber will attack no matter what!! Their punishment should be more harsh.I agree with donalds.

This is tragic, especially for the daughter & the parents of this poor woman. The police department should consider opening a police secured shelter for abused women who are in serious danger, such as this victim. Instead of sending the women back home, they could live in the shelter while the abuser gets thrown in jail.

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