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Vigil held for mother killed at South Los Angeles store

September 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An emotional vigil was held Thursday night for a mother who was gunned down inside a South Los Angeles discount store where she worked.

About 50 people gathered to remember Martha Sanchez, who was killed during a robbery at the Happy Bargain 99 Cent Store at 74th Street and Broadway on Tuesday night. Sanchez worked as a clerk at the store.

At the center of their prayer circle was a photo of the 39-year-old mother of five.

"These are people I don't really know, and it's amazing that they did something for my mom," said Gabriella Sanchez, the victim's daughter. "It just shows a lot of love and it shows the kind of person my mom was."

After about 20 minutes, the vigil in front of the store turned into a spontaneous demonstration. The participants marched to the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Station, which is just one block away from the store where Sanchez was killed.

"The outpour of concern by the community has been tremendous. I am confident that this case is going to be solved," said Capt. Lillian Carranza with the LAPD.

Authorities are still searching for the gunman. Investigators say surveillance cameras captured the suspect, but they have not released the footage.

Police do not believe Sanchez tried to resist the suspect, and they don't have a motive for the murder.

Community members are helping to raise money for the Sanchez family. The popular store clerk was described as a hard-working mother.

"She was always helping the community, so that's why the community wants to give back," said Eva Alvarez of South Los Angeles.

A fund has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses:

Bank of America
To: Gabriella Sanchez
Account# 164109381728
Routing# 121000358

Sanchez is survived by her husband of 20 years and her five children, who range in age from 3 to 19 years old.

"If there's anybody out there who knows what happened, please, please step up," said Gabriella Sanchez. "I know if we find out who it is, it's not going to bring her back, but it'll comfort us."

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to contact the LAPD's 77th Division at (213) 485-4164.


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