The man arrested in the fatal shooting of a woman during a custody exchange at the Hawthorne police station Sunday has been identified by police as 30-year-old Jacob Munn.
Munn opened fire on Brenda Renteria, 27, of Simi Valley, the mother of his child outside the police station, police said.
Renteria and Munn agreed to meet at the Police Department so Renteria could pick up their 17-month-old baby. The toddler was already inside the station when Renteria arrived, police said.
At some point, police allege, Munn fired at least one blast from a shotgun at Renteria. An officer who heard shots from inside the station rushed outside, spotted the suspect and opened fire as Munn drove off in a black Chevy truck. Munn was not hit, police said.
Renteria was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police tracked Munn’s car to 133rd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard outside a Denny’s restaurant, where it was abandoned. Officers set up a perimeter and brought in police dogs to search for him. He was arrested on suspicion of murder about three hours later in the 4400 block of 134th Street, police said.
Munn is being held on $2-million bail, according to jail records.
“In general, the police departments are not aware of any custody exchanges,” Hawthorne Police Chief Michael Ishii told KNBC-TV Channel 4 on Monday. “Oftentimes, [the parents] make arrangements at local police stations or across the county. It’s a public space. We are not supervising them, not aware of them.
“We’re not sure if that was the case yesterday in this horrible and tragic incident.”
The incident was the second officer-involved shooting in Hawthorne on Sunday. The first happened about 9:30 a.m. when a police officer and a suspect exchanged gunfire near a Marriott hotel at the corner of Rosecrans Avenue and Aviation Boulevard.
Police had responded to the location after a man dressed in military fatigues and carrying a handgun was reported chasing a woman in the hotel.
During the gun battle, a 15-year veteran of the Hawthorne police force was shot in the leg. The officer was hospitalized but is expected to survive his injury.
City News Service contributed to this report