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

November 12, 2009 |  1:32 pm

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

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