A man was arrested Sunday evening after shooting and killing the mother of his child earlier Sunday outside the Hawthorne police station during a custody exchange, according to Hawthorne police.
The shooting happened during the exchange outside the front doors of the station at 12501 S. Hawthorne Blvd. about 6 p.m., Hawthorne police Lt. Gary Tomatani said.
The suspect was captured after an almost three-hour search in the 4400 block of 134th Street, close to where he abandoned his vehicle after the killing.
His name has not been released.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s, Tomatani said.
“One of our officers was inside and rushed outside when he heard the gunfire,” Tomatani told City News Service. “Witnesses told the officer that the man who shot the woman was fleeing the scene. That’s when an officer-involved-shooting took place. We don’t know at this point if the suspect was hit.”
Police tracked the suspect’s car to the area of 133 Street and Hawthorne Boulevard outside a Denny’s restaurant where it was abandoned, Tomatani explained. Officers then set up a perimeter and have now brought in police dogs to look for the suspect.
The 17-month-old child involved in the custody exchange is safely in police hands, police said.
County fire paramedics responded to the scene but the victim was already dead, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Melinda Choi told CNS.
The name of the woman who was killed was withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Hawthorne Boulevard and Inglewood Avenue between 131st Street and 138th Street was closed for the police investigation and reopened about 10 p.m., the California Highway Patrol said.
It was the second OIS in Hawthorne that happened Sunday.
The first OIS, which involved a wild shootout between an officer and a man armed with an assault rifle, was near a Marriott hotel at the corner of Rosecrans Avenue and Aviation Boulevard.
Police were called to the scene about 9:30 a.m. because of a domestic dispute at the hotel.
When officers arrived, the suspect was spotted running across Aviation Boulevard into the Manhattan Gateway Shopping Center, Hawthorne Police Chief Michael Ishii said.
Police followed the man into the parking lot where gunfire was exchanged between an officer and the suspect, Ishii said. During the gunfight, the officer was shot in a leg and the gunman was hit in the chest before being taken into custody.
Both men were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The officer went into surgery to repair his wounded leg and was last reported in stable condition.
He will remain in the hospital for at least overnight, Tomatoni said.
There’s no word yet on the condition of the alleged gunman and his name has not yet been released.