Details continued to emerge Monday in the fatal police shooting of an armed Pomona woman in a motel parking lot over the weekend.
A Pomona police officer and two Los Angeles County District Attorney’s investigators were taking part in a gang suppression patrol in response to recent violence in the city about 9:45 p.m. Saturday when they drove through a motel parking lot in the 900 block of West Holt Avenue, according to Los Angles County sheriff’s officials, who are assisting Pomona police in the investigation.
The three officers were riding in an unmarked SUV, but wearing vests and jackets that identified them as law enforcement offices, Lt. David Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
“They were doing a routine drive-through of that motel,” Lt. Dave Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. “That particular area is known for gang activity and narcotics activity.”
“They were immediately confronted by the suspect who was brandishing a handgun,” Coleman said.
Castaneda-Montoya pointed the gun at the officers, Coleman said. The Pomona officer and one of the D.A.’s investigators opened fire, fatally wounding the woman.
An autopsy was pending to determine how many times she was struck by the officers’ gunfire.
Her semi-automatic pistol was recovered and found to be loaded, with “one in the chamber,” the lieutenant added.
Castaneda-Montoya was believed to have been alone when she confronted the officers, Coleman said. It was not clear why she was at the motel, and it was unclear if she realized the men she accosted were police.
“Right now, we don’t have a theory about what caused it,” Coleman said. “We don’t know what she was doing.”
“The big question is why she aggressed the officers in the car,” he said.