The victim has been identified as 30-year-old Flor De Maria Medrano. She had gone to police a few days ago because she said her boyfriend had been threatening her. Police were in the process of searching for that boyfriend when he managed to slip by them.
Police say the boyfriend fatally stabbed Medrano, his estranged girlfriend, inside her second-story Mid-City apartment.
"When officers looked through the window, they could visually see the victim being stabbed," said LAPD Captain Eric Davis at a press conference Thursday.
Thursday afternoon, the LAPD Wilshire Division defended actions by two of its patrol officers who were outside the victim's apartment when the suspect snuck into the unit by scaling down from the roof and entering through a bathroom window.
Capt. Davis said his officers were monitoring the area, looking for the suspect, because he had threatened the victim two days earlier.
"We were conducting an active criminal-threats investigation," said Davis. "There was information conveyed to us by the victim that over the last several days, the suspect had become very confrontational with her and made several threats relative to her safety."
Davis said officers learned the suspect was inside the apartment when they called to check on Medrano and heard a scuffle.
"'He might have a weapon, and he's dangerous,' and as soon as [the officer] said that, he [fired his gun]," said Shermanita Williams, a friend of Medrano's.
Williams said she wished she could have helped Medrano, but it was too late.
"I was really hurt, really, really hurt," said Williams. "Because she didn't deserve to die like that, but I assumed it was over some jealousy."
Medrano leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter who is in the care of relatives.
Investigators will not release the identity of the suspect, pending notification of relatives.
Eyewitness News Reporters John Gregory and Leslie Sykes contributed to this report.