COMPTON (CBSLA) — Investigators said a custody battle turned deadly early Wednesday morning in Compton as a family celebrated the New Year.
Police said a young mother was killed and another man was critically injured after a man pulled out a gun and shot them both.
“They found two individuals, one male and one female, both suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper torso,” Lt. Robert Westphal said.
According to investigators, the woman and the suspect got into an argument over who had custody of their children. Police said the man then fatally shot the woman, and when a male relative of the woman stepped into defend her, he was shot, too.
The couple’s children, between the ages of 10 and 14, were reportedly in the home when the shots rang out.
“The neighbors didn’t hear anything, because of the fireworks, but from our understanding that did hear something like an ongoing brrr,” Colleene Martin, a neighbor, said.
Martin has lived in the neighborhood for 50 years and said she had never seen anything like this, but she is not a stranger to gun violence — her own son was murdered.
“I would love them give them a hug, because you need that,” she said. “No one knows the feeling of losing someone in such a tragic way, unless they go through it.”
Police said the man, who was in a relationship with the woman who was killed, was taken into custody for questioning.