Kathleen Anderson was standing near the doorway of an abandoned house in Hawaiian Gardens on Sunday night when her husband saw a patrol car stop at the end of the long driveway.
Her husband, Johnny Ray Anderson, 43, had been fixing a bicycle on the driveway, when he suddenly crouched and walked over to her. He told her to grab her purse because they needed to leave. Police had found them, she said.
"We were scared," she said. "We knew we had trespassed."
The homeless couple had been occupying one of two empty houses on the property on 215th Street and Belshire Avenue after moving from Iowa. Her husband, who grew up in Hawaiian Gardens, was listed on a gang injunction and didn't want to be arrested, she said.
So when Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies appeared at 9:40 p.m., her husband moved quickly to escape. He ran over to the side of the house and used a bucket to climb over a wall into a neighbor's yard, she said. She pleaded with her husband not to run from authorities.
After jumping over the wall, she went back to the driveway as five deputies approached her with their weapons drawn. She said she raised her arms and told them she wasn't armed.
"I'm coming out peacefully," she recalled telling them.
Authorities said deputies responded to a report of a prowler, who had been knocking on a resident's door trying to get inside a home in the 12200 block of 216th Street.
When deputies arrived, they found Johnny Ray Anderson in the backyard of the home and a shooting occurred, said Deputy Kelvin Moody. He suffered a gunshot wound to the upper body and died at the scene. No weapon was located at the scene, Moody said.
For hours, she said she sat in a patrol car. She kept asking deputies if they had found her husband, but each time they told her they hadn't.
"I didn't know they were lying to me," she said.
At about 5 a.m., as she was being interviewed by a sheriff's detective at a nearby sheriff's station, she was told that her husband had been allegedly involved in a confrontation with an officer and was killed.
She said the detective interviewing her broke the news.
"I said 'What?!' I couldn't believe it. "she said, recalling. "I started screaming, and they tried to grab me, and I said don't touch me, you just killed my husband."
Standing outside the abandoned house on Monday afternoon, she cried as she recalled the events of Sunday night. She said she and her husband have lost several relatives over the last five years.
Her husband had come across the house while searching for recyclables, she said. They had moved back to the area in April and had been living in motels and under a bridge until they found the home.
"And now I've lost him," she said, crying. "He had plenty of life left in him, and they took it from him."