Investigations were continuing Monday into a pair of Hawthorne police shootings, including one in which an officer fired shots at a fleeing suspect accused of killing the mother of his child during a custody exchange at the city police station.
Brenda Renteria, 28, of Simi Valley, was shot about 6 p.m. Sunday during the exchange outside the Hawthorne police station at 12501 S. Hawthorne Blvd. and died at the scene, according to police and coroner’s officials.
Jacob Munn, 30, of Hawthorne, was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held on $2 million bail.
“One of our officers was inside and rushed outside when he heard the gunfire,” Lt. Gary 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.”
The suspect was not hit by the gunfire and fled in a vehicle that was traced to the area of 133rd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard, outside a Denny’s restaurant, Tomatani said. Officers then set up a perimeter and brought in police dogs to look for Munn, who was arrested in the 4400 block of 134th Street following a nearly three-hour search that also involved officers from Inglewood, Torrance, Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica, along with police helicopters, SWAT and K-9 teams.
The 17-month-old child involved in the custody exchange was safe and in police hands after the shooting, police said. But paramedics were unable to save the toddler’s mother, who died before they got to the scene, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Melinda Choi told CNS.
It was the second OIS in Hawthorne on Sunday. A police officer and a suspect were hospitalized with what were described as non-life-threatening wounds following an exchange of gunfire about 9:30 a.m. near a Marriott hotel at the corner of Rosecrans Avenue and Aviation Boulevard.
Police were called to the scene on a report of a domestic dispute at the hotel. When officers arrived, the suspect was spotted running across Aviation Boulevard toward the Manhattan Gateway Shopping Center, Hawthorne police Chief Michael Ishii said.
Officers 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.
The suspect, whose name was withheld, was armed with “some sort of assault rifle … or high-capacity weapon,” the police chief said.
The officer underwent surgery to repair his leg and was last reported to be in stable condition.