A man who stabbed a woman in what authorities described as a domestic dispute was fatally shot Monday outside a courthouse in Chatsworth.
The woman was hospitalized in critical but stable conditions, with multiple stab wounds, according to Lt. Mike Rossin of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
Authorities learned the couple in their early 20's was married, but estranged for the past two weeks. Nevertheless, they came to the courthouse together, apparently so she could take care of an outstanding traffic ticket, Rossin said.
She was driving the Audi sedan that stopped at the entrance to the court parking lot. The parking attendant called for help after he could see the couple arguing and the man holding a knife to the woman's throat, according to Tom Feher, an attorney who said he yeard yelling as he left the courthouse.
The woman exited the car and ran toward the court entrance, with the man chasing her.
"He got to the top of the steps and began stabbing her again with a large kitchen knife," Rossin said. A responding deputy and a courthouse security both fired, he said. The woman was just feet from reaching the courthouse door, said Chelsea Smith, who was inside in the security check area and watched in horror through the glass.
The man died at a hospital. Besides a stab wound to her upper torso, the woman has multiple defensive wounds to her hands and arms, said Rossin.
Courtrooms in the Chatsworth Superior Court Building remained closed for the afternoon as the front of the court courtyard and parking area were secured for crime scene investigation.
Court staff set up a table on the Prairie Street side of the building so individuals and attorneys due in court could check in.