HAWTHORNE (CBSLA) – A 31-year-old man suspected of shooting and killing the mother of his child Sunday evening during a child custody exchange at the Hawthorne Police Station is in custody.
At around 6 p.m., Jacob Munn shot and killed 28-year-old Brenda Renteria of Simi Valley as she was entering the police station, located at 12501 S. Hawthorne Blvd., Hawthorne police report.
Munn dropped off his 17-month-old child inside the police station before he grabbed a shotgun out of his pickup truck and returned to shoot Renteria, police said.
As the mother was walking up to the front door of the police station in order to go in and take custody of the child, Munn approached from the parking lot and shot her, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reports. He then jumped into his truck to drive away.
As he was speeding away, an officer came out of the station and fired at Munn, but didn’t hit him, the sheriff’s department said.
“The officer that was involved in this incident from the Hawthorne Police Department was in the station doing his regular duties and heard what he believed were gunshots,” Lt. Gary Tomatani told CBS2 Sunday. “He went out to the front lobby, exited the front door, saw that somebody had been shot and killed directly outside the front door to our station. That person’s family and friends were pointing out a vehicle that was leaving the parking lot.”
The child was safe inside the station and did not witness the shootings. A shotgun was recovered just outside the front doors of the station, the sheriff’s department said.
“The officers, and really our support staff, there’s a lot of people here in the lobby at the time, are shaken up, and it’s one of the things I have to do is make sure that they’ll be OK and get help,” Hawthorne Police Chief Michael Ishii told CBS2 Monday.
Munn abandoned his vehicle about four blocks from the station and fled on foot. After an over three-hour search involving SWAT officers and K9s, he was captured in the 4400 block of 134th Street at around 9:30 p.m., the sheriff’s department reports, just under a mile from the police station.
Renteria was identified by the L.A. County coroner’s office Monday. Her relationship to Munn was not immediately confirmed.
“I do not know if there was a restraining order in place, or if this was just an agreed upon location for them to make the exchange,” L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund told reporters Sunday night. “I do not know if there were any court papers involved in this.”
Parents generally arrange custody exchanges at police stations, and often without any official involvement, officials told CBS2.
The sheriff’s department and Hawthorne police are continuing to investigate. Family members of Renteria came to the station Monday and spoke to investigators, but did not want to speak on camera.
“We just really don’t know what happens in domestic violence cases, and even in front of a police station,” Ishii said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Renteria’s three children.
In an unrelated incident Sunday morning, a Hawthorne police officer and a suspect were both wounded in a gunfire exchange. The officer survived and was being released from the hospital Monday. The condition of the suspect was not confirmed.