Distraught Woman Pushes Daughters and Jumps from Building

December 22, 2000

Friday, December 22, 2000

Los Angeles: On December 20, 2000, at approximately 5:40 P.M., Central Area patrol officers responded to a radio call at the Los Angeles County Courthouse located at the corner of 1st Street and Hill Street for a possible suicide investigation. Upon arrival the officers were directed to the ninth floor of the Courthouse building where they observed a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff attempting to negotiate with Lashondra Crozier, a 27 year-old African American female who was threatening to jump from a ninth floor balcony. Unfortunately, Lashondra Crozier jumped from the ninth floor balcony and fell to the balcony of the fourth floor. All officers then responded to the fourth floor balcony where they found not only Lashondra Crozier, but also two additional fall victims–five-year old Joan Richards and 7 year-old Breanna Richards. Officers summoned Los Angeles City Fire paramedics who arrived and pronounced Lashonda Crozier dead at the scene. The children were transported to the Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center where they were also pronounced dead.

A preliminary investigation revealed that Lashondra Crozier most likely threw her two daughters, Joan and Breanna off of the ninth floor balcony to their deaths on the fourth floor balcony prior to jumping to her own death. Upon further investigation, detectives discovered that all three victims, as well as the husband of Lashondra and father of the two siblings, were at the Los Angeles County Courthouse earlier in the day on a civil, non-child-custody related matter.

The motive for this crime is unknown. The investigation into this murder-suicide is ongoing and is being conducted by the Juvenile Division-Abused Child Unit. Anyone with information that could assist with this investigation is encouraged to contact Abused Child Unit Detective L. Ruegg at 818-756-8748.

This press release was prepared by Officer Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section 213-485-3586.

For Release 5:00 pm PST
December 22, 2000