The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was called to a Rancho Palos Verdes home in the early morning hours of Jan. 3. Deputies from the Lomita station were responding to the stabbing death of a 40-year-old man in a suspected domestic violence-related incident. The man’s wife and the mother of the couple’s two young children is the suspect.

According to a statement by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the wife called police at 1:04 a.m. to report a domestic assault. When deputies arrived, the woman came out of the house with her 7-year-old son. She was suffering from head trauma and other injuries that a spokesperson said were not thought to be life-threatening. The boy and his 4-year-old sister were apparently unharmed.

Inside, the deputies found the body, along with a handgun and what they described as a butcher knife. The man was pronounced dead on the scene, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

The man had apparent stab wounds, but at least one of those wounds may have been self-inflicted, according to the LASD. The exact cause of death is still undetermined.

Deputies are still investigating what happened that night, but a preliminary investigation revealed that a domestic violence incident had taken place at the residence, and the wife’s injuries and the husband’s self-inflicted wound may be indications that the woman acted in self-defense.

“The wife has not been charged,” said a sheriff’s deputy speaking for the department. “But the investigation is still ongoing.”

The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment, and the two children were taken into protective custody.

Domestic violence is always a tragedy, especially when children are involved. As citizens, we need to understand that a full investigation of the circumstances of the case is necessary before passing any judgment.

Sources:

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department press release, “Stabbing Death Investigation, Rancho Palos Verdes,” Jan. 3, 2012
  • Los Angeles Times, “Domestic dispute ends in apparent fatal stabbing, authorities say,” Angel Jennings, Jan. 3, 2012