Mother shot and killed outside SoCal police station during custody exchange

A man was arrested after allegedly shooting and killing the mother of his child during a custody exchange in front of a Southern California police station, authorities said.

The couple, who have a 17-month-old daughter together, were to meet at the Hawthorne Police Department to do a custody exchange, according to detectives. 

As the mother was approaching the front door of the station to enter and take custody of her child around 6 p.m., the man appeared from the parking lot with a shotgun and shot the woman, authorities said.

The 27-year-old woman, whose name was not immediately released, died at the scene.

The shooting happened in front of the couple’s child and the woman’s mother.

The suspect, whom police did not identify, fled the scene in his truck. There was a brief exchange of gunfire between the suspect and officers. The man then abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot.

The suspect was later found at about 9 p.m. hiding in an auto parts store just a few blocks away from the shooting scene and was arrested, police said.

Police said the child and grandmother were not injured.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau detectives were assisting the Hawthorne Police Department in the investigation.