The grieving family of a woman shot and killed by Inglewood police said Monday the circumstances surrounding her death don't match their memory of a doting mother of three who never owned a gun.
Relatives of 31-year-old Kisha Michael, who gathered for a news conference at the Inglewood intersection where the shooting occurred, said they have asked for more answers from police but have not been satisfied.
So far they only know what detectives have told them: Michael was found dead along with an unknown man inside a Chevy Malibu.
“They didn’t state how or where,” said Kisha's twin sister, Trisha Michael. “It’s still a mystery.”
It wasn’t until hours later that Michael’s mother, Rosalinda Reyes-Lopez, said she learned that her daughter had been fatally gunned down by police officers.
“The only thing I know so far is what the police have told me,” said Reyes-Lopez, of Carson. “They said, ‘We are still investigating.'”
The coroner’s office has not released the names of the shooting victims because it has not notified next of kin, officials said.
Reyes-Lopez said she had yet to identify Michael's body but the circumstances of the shooting match the description provided by detectives.
Officers said they received a call early Sunday morning of a suspicious vehicle stopped near Manchester Boulevard and Inglewood Avenue. When they approached the car, they noticed the woman in the car had a gun and ordered her and a male occupant out of the vehicle, said Scott Collins, a spokesman for the Inglewood Police Department.
Officers then took cover and opened fire, killing both people.
The woman was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting, and the man died later at a hospital. No police officers were injured.
Police have released few details of the shooting. Collins would not say whether the pair had refused to exit the vehicle or if the woman fired or pointed the gun at police officers.
Community activist Najee Ali said that possession of a gun did not give the officers the right to open fire.
“Even though she may have had a gun, that does not mean she was a threat to officers,” said Ali, director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E. “To this day, police officers have not said whether she pointed the gun at them or if she was a threat.... Also, her friend, her companion, was unarmed. Why was he shot?”
At the corner of the 7-Eleven parking lot where the shooting took place, about a dozen family members and friends gathered to remember Michael, who was visiting Los Angeles from her home in Las Vegas.
“I feel she was gunned down,” said Trisha Michael, who lives in Inglewood. “She never owned a gun. I feel like they are not telling us the whole story.”
Relatives said Kisha Michael returned to California last month to attend to personal business. She was planning to return to Las Vegas.
The day before she was killed, she attended a baby shower and a friend’s birthday party. She left her three sons, ages 11, 10 and 3, with a neighborhood friend. They do not know how she ended up minutes from her sister’s Inglewood home dead.
After the news conference, some relatives went to the Inglewood Police Department headquarters demanding to speak with the chief of police. Others stood on the corner collecting donations for the funeral.
One held a sign that said, “Murdered by Inglewood Police,” and another shouted: “It could be your child next. You never know.”