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Kisha Shelly Michael, 31

Kisha Shelly Michael (2016-02-21)

Kisha Shelly Michael, a 31-year-old black woman, was fatally shot by Inglewood police Sunday, Feb. 21, near South Inglewood Avenue and West Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Officers said they received a call early Sunday morning of a suspicious vehicle stopped near West Manchester Boulevard and South Inglewood Avenue. When they approached the car, they noticed the woman in the car had a gun and ordered her and a man out of the vehicle, said Scott Collins, a spokesman for the Inglewood Police Department.

Officers then took cover and opened fire, killing Michael and a  32-year-old man, Marquintan Randell Sandlin. No officers were injured. 

Collins would not say whether the pair had refused to exit the vehicle or if the woman fired or pointed the gun at police officers.

Michael was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:11 a.m.

The next day, Michael’s family said that the woman was a doting mother of three who never owned a gun. Relatives gathered for a news conference where the shooting occurred and said they have asked for more answers from police but have not been satisfied.

Community activist Najee Ali said that possession of a gun did not give the officers the right to open fire.

“Even though she may have had a gun, that does not mean she was a threat to officers,” said Ali, director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E. “To this day, police officers have not said whether she pointed the gun at them or if she was a threat. ... Also, her friend, her companion, was unarmed. Why was he shot?”

At the corner of the 7-Eleven parking lot where the shooting took place, about a dozen family members and friends gathered to remember Michael, who was visiting Los Angeles from her home in Las Vegas.

“I feel she was gunned down,” said Trisha Michael, who lives in Inglewood. “She never owned a gun. I feel like they are not telling us the whole story.”

Relatives said Kisha Michael returned to California last month to attend to personal business. She was planning to return to Las Vegas.

The day before she was killed, she attended a baby shower and a friend’s birthday party. She left her three sons, ages 11, 10 and 3, with a neighborhood friend. They do not know how she ended up dead just a few minutes away from her sister’s Inglewood home.

After the news conference, some relatives went to the Inglewood Police Department headquarters demanding to speak with the chief of police. Others stood on the corner collecting donations for the funeral.

One held a sign that said, “Murdered by Inglewood Police,” and another shouted: “It could be your child next. You never know.”

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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