Sheriff’s officials were investigating after a child custody exchange escalated into a deadly police shooting in Whittier on Monday, authorities said.
An estranged couple was transferring custody of their children, a 4-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy, in the lobby of the Whittier police headquarters on Penn Street at 6 p.m. when the father pulled out a knife and abducted the mother, according to Lt. Rodney Moore with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The man forced the woman into a vehicle and drove to a residence on the 13800 block of Philadelphia Street.
At that point the mother was able to walk away from the vehicle, but the father returned a short time later and removed the girl from the car at knifepoint, Moore said.
Whittier police arrived at the scene and were concerned the girl was in danger. That’s when three officers decided to use lethal force and fired their weapons, each of them discharging one round, according to Moore.
The man was struck by police gunfire at least once in his upper torso.
He was airlifted to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, Moore said.
None of the suspect’s family members or responding officers were injured in the incident.
Sheriff’s officials are continuing to investigate the police shooting.