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Police shoot and kill woman who allegedly had a knife in Panorama City

Los Angeles police shot and killed a woman who was allegedly armed with a knife in Panorama City on Saturday. 

Mission Division officers were sent to an apartment complex in the 9400 block of Van Nuys Boulevard upon learning of a person who was armed with a knife, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department. 

They say that the woman, identified as 23-year-old Joanna Lua, was blocking family from leaving the apartment and threatening them.

Arriving officers say that they staged outside of the door of the second-floor apartment and tried for several minutes to "verbalize with the occupants of the apartment to gain entry inside, with negative results," according to a statement released on Sunday. 

While outside, they say that they heard screaming and loud banging which they believed was Lua as she attempted to gain access to a victim inside the apartment. This prompted them to force entry into the apartment. 

"Officers encountered Lua advancing toward them, still armed with a knife, officers issued verbal commands to Lua to drop the knife," the statement said. "As Lua continued to advance toward the officers, she began to raise the knife in her hand resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting, simultaneously a TASER was discharged. Lua was struck by gunfire and TASER probes and was taken into custody."

Lua was rushed to a nearby hospital by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics where she later died, police said. 

Investigators recovered a knife at the scene, which they say was a 10-inch bread knife.  

No other injuries were reported in the incident. 

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, questioned the shooting, which he called a "slaying" later Saturday. 

"The LAPD slaying of a Panorama City woman demands a fast track investigation and possible charges against the officers involved in the slaying," a statement said. "The LAPD again repeatedly uses deadly force in dubious situations that may not pose a life and death threat to officers or others. The Panorama City slaying is another possible example of that."

 He also called for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón to conduct a "quick, fast, and thorough investigation" to determine if the use of force was uncalled for. 

On Monday, LAPD identified the officer as Mackey Hurtado, in a news statement. Hurtado was assigned to the Mission Station.

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