By Thomas Watkins
LOS ANGELES — Police fatally shot a man as he stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death in her apartment hours after she filed a domestic violence report against him, authorities said Thursday.
Two patrol officers had dropped the victim off at her apartment just 40 minutes earlier. They were parked outside monitoring the home and as they called the woman to say they were leaving, they heard her screaming. Her attacker had apparently snuck into the apartment through a bathroom window.
The deadly sequence of events started around 5 p.m. Wednesday when Flor Medrano, 30, flagged down patrol officers in the Mid-City area and said her estranged boyfriend had threatened her.
Investigators did not discuss the nature of the threats but said Medrano showed officers threatening text messages she had received.
Medrano, a mother of a 3-year-old, went with the officers to the Wilshire police station, where investigators took a report and discussed with her various options for safe places to stay.
Officers tried to find the estranged boyfriend at his Inglewood home but he was not there. The suspect, whose name was not released, had smashed the windshield of Medrano's car about a week earlier, Lt. Don Brady said.
At around 10:45 p.m., the officers accompanied Medrano home. They checked the outside of her apartment and saw no sign of the suspect. Medrano was the only person with a key, Capt. Eric Davis said.
About 40 minutes later, the officers called Medrano to check on her safety and to tell her they were about to leave. The cell phone call was cut short and when officers finally got through again they heard the victim screaming.
They called for back up, ran up to the apartment and saw her being stabbed to death.
One officer fired a single shot through a window, striking the suspect in the upper left torso, Brady said. The officers then smashed down the door and attempted to render aid to both the victim and the suspect, becoming covered in blood in the process.
Both the assailant and Medrano died later in the hospital. The knife used in the attack was recovered at the scene.
"When the officers looked through the window they could visually see the victim being stabbed," Davis said. "They witnessed a very tragic incident."
The officers were traumatized by what they'd seen, Davis said, and they were placed on leave while the shooting was investigated. Davis commended the officers' actions.
The suspect had apparently eluded police by climbing down from a roof and into the apartment through a bathroom window.
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Homicide detectives are investigating the stabbing and the Los Angeles Police Department's Force Investigation Division was probing the officer shooting.