L.A. County probation officer killed by intruder at her Lancaster home, authorities say

A deputy probation officer holds a sign and raises a fist at a rally.
A deputy probation officer attends an August rally by the Coalition of Probation Unions to demand safety on the job in light of officers being assaulted at L.A. County probation facilities.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles County probation officer was beaten to death during a break-in over the weekend at her Lancaster home, authorities said.

L.A. County sheriff’s deputies found the victim suffering from blunt-force trauma in a home in the 45500 block of Barrymore Avenue at 12:05 a.m. Sunday, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday afternoon, the Probation Department identified the victim as Officer Paula Lind, 52.

Deputies were responding to a home invasion call, the release said. Lind was pronounced dead at the scene about an hour after the assault, said Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman for the L.A. County coroner’s office.

A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder, according to sheriff’s homicide Lt. Michael Gomez, who said Lind was a 16-year veteran of the Probation Department.

Gomez said the suspect was a homeless man who shattered a sliding door to enter the home.

“A struggle ensued between him and the officer, and she suffered severe head trauma,” said Gomez, adding that detectives are still trying to confirm the man’s identity.


Lind normally monitored adult probationers in the field but had worked an overtime shift at a juvenile hall over the weekend to help with an ongoing staffing shortage, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the case candidly, said the victim had just come home from work when the attack happened. Lind is survived by her longtime boyfriend, who is also a probation officer, several colleagues said.

L.A. County Probation Department Chief Adolfo Gonzales was meeting with the woman’s family Monday morning, according to a department spokeswoman.

“Our hearts are heavy today. Our officers work daily to help folks start over and rebuild their lives; their work helps keep communities safe,” Gonzales said in a statement.

“It is horrifying to hear that one of our beloved officers passed in this manner,” he said. “I am hopeful that the individual responsible for this attack will be held accountable and that justice will prevail.”