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Monrovia gang shooting kills girl, wounds 1

January 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Police are looking for two young men who shot and killed 16-year-old Samantha Salas and wounded her friend.They were shot on Peck Road about 9:15 p.m. Saturday.

Investigators in Monrovia are looking for leads in the tragic killing.

Monrovia detectives are on the hunt for suspects. Eyewitness News spoke to the family of the victim killed Saturday night. They say the victim and her friend simply walked to the store to buy gum, and never made it back.

Authorities say 16-year-old Samantha Salas is the latest victim in a rise in gang violence plaguing Monrovia.

A small memorial marks the area where detectives say Salas was standing with a girlfriend outside her apartment building in unincorporated Monrovia Saturday night after 9, when two young men walked up and started shooting.

Salas was killed. Her friend was injured.

The victim's father is outraged and heartbroken. "Since day one, I was there when she was born," said Samantha's father, Samuel Salas. "I changed her diaper, I fed her, I dressed her, and now they took her away from me."

"They" are gangs. Authorities say since the beginning of the year, the gangs have become more active and more violent.

"We did see some activity in the last few weeks that has given us great concern," said Monrovia Police Chief Roger Johnson. "It appears to be retaliation between two particular gangs that seem to be going back and forth, and so we're going to work diligently to put them in prison as soon as we can, and bring things back to a normal level."

Samuel Salas said his daughter was an innocent victim of gang violence. Salas has tried to keep his family away from that gang violence.

"I left L.A. because of it," said Salas. "Never in the world would I dream that something would happen up here. I know it's all over, but I never thought my family, my daughter, was going to be a victim."

"It hurts because she was like one of my own," said Erica Regalado, Samantha's stepmother. "I took care of them just like I took care of my other kids. It's just like a part of you is gone."

Police are on the hunt for suspects. Eyewitness News talked to concerned residents. They are definitely aware of a rise in gang violence in the city of Monrovia, and they want it taken care of. Police say they will do just that.

 

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