Authorities said the woman, who is described to be in her 40s, fired one or more shots at a store clerk. Then, she went inside the apartment and a long standoff ensued.
Police said she originally had a 6-year-old child with her, but police got the boy out of the building shortly before 8 a.m. There were several family members inside the apartment with the suspect, and police were able to get in touch with one relative, who cooperatively brought the boy out of the building.
While police had to treat the case as a hostage situation, they don't believe the child was in any real danger.
Authorities responded to the 1700 block of South Highland Avenue after receiving reports of a female with a gun in the apartment building.
The standoff forced authorities to shut down part of La Brea Avenue and evacuate the area. Police also brought in a transit bus to house those forced from their homes.
"She's just a normal woman. We were very surprised that she snapped like this," said a neighbor who was evacuated.
Family members say the woman does have a drug problem, but normally she's not violent.
"My mother's never been like a dangerous person, don't have a record at all," said the suspect's son.
Patience by police ended the incident without anyone getting hurt. For officers, the most important thing was making sure that the little boy was going to be safe.
Family members have identified the woman as Vyonne Davis. She was booked on suspicion of attempted murder for allegedly firing one or more shots at a man.