LOS ANGELES — A young mother who allegedly shot her two boys Saturday — killing her 5-year-old and critically wounding her 1-year-old — shouted “I’ve wasted my life!” from her balcony and threatened to kill herself before she was arrested, police and neighbors said.
LaTonya Dixon, 25, called 911 about 8:30 a.m. Saturday and told the dispatcher that she had killed her children. When officers arrived at the three-unit apartment complex in South Los Angeles, the woman was standing on a second floor balcony waving a handgun.
After hearing a woman scream, neighbor Sandra Jones said she saw Dixon on the balcony rail and yelled out, “No, don’t jump! You have [your son] and the baby to think about! They’re going to need you.”
As officers arrived at the beige stucco apartment, Dixon told police to shoot her. She was walking in and out of her apartment with a handgun. Officers ordered her numerous times to drop the gun, but she refused.
At one point she climbed on the balcony rail and stood on it for a while, as if preparing to jump, said Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Fabian Lizarraga.
Police finally talked her into placing the gun on the balcony floor and officers, sneaking up a side stairwell, quickly tackled and arrested her, Lizarraga said.
Inside the living room they found the two boys with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to the hospital. The 5-year-old, identified by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office as Christian Dixon, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The 1-year-old suffered multiple gunshot wounds and is in critical condition, police said. The child’s name was not released.
LaTonya Dixon and her two sons were regular fixtures in the neighborhood where she had lived for the past several years in a one-bedroom apartment.
“She was just sweet as pie. When she first saw me, she said ‘Hi, Momma!’” said Sandra Jones, who has lived in the neighborhood for about 10 years.
Danielle Jones, 17, whose 2-year-old son would play with LaTonya Dixon’s 1-year-old, said she hadn’t seen them outside for about a month.
At 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Danielle Jones said she heard LaTonya Dixon’s voice, but she was known to talk to herself. About 8 a.m., though, she heard gunshots.