Arrest made in 110 Freeway offramp murder

Woman fatally shot on 110 Freeway offramp
LOS ANGELES Samantha Padilla lost her life at the northbound Slauson Ave. exit of the 110 Harbor Freeway. It is unknown if the shooting was random or if she was targeted. At the scene, friends of Padilla set up a memorial with flowers and candles.

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A 30-year-old woman was arrested in Ramona Gardens Thursday night in connection to a fatal freeway offramp shooting, according to police.

Police from the Hollenbeck Division confirmed that the 30-year-old suspect's own family turned her in.

The woman was arrested at the Ramona Gardens Housing Project in Boyle Heights, near Soto St. And Lancaster Ave.

Friends describe 19-year-old Samantha Padilla as outgoing and hard-working. She was coming home for her job as a passenger agent at LAX shortly after midnight when she took the Slauson Ave. exit off the Northbound 110 Freeway.

A male eyewitness says at least five gunshots rang out from a two-tone brown Ford Bronco with tinted windows. The truck turned east on Slauson and sped off.

One woman, who asked not to be identified, drove up to the scene moments after Padilla was shot.

"I rolled down my window and [a man] said, 'Do you have a phone? Somebody just shot this poor girl in this car,'" said the unnamed eyewitness.

"She was a beautiful girl. She was always happy, always smiling," said Jenny Lepe, a friend of Padilla's. "Like I said, she didn't have enemies, she talked to anyone. She had so many friends."

Padilla's friends and family are distraught. Many gathered at her house to comfort her parents, who still can't believe what's happened.

At the scene, there are candles and flowers, and more questions than answers from those who knew Padilla.

"To tell you the truth, I don't understand these things. It's crazy what's going on nowadays, especially around here," said Kacio Earl, a friend of Padilla's. "This kind of thing around here is not really new, because it always happens around here, but to see it happen to her is really hurtful because she just wasn't that type of person. She got along with everybody, and it seems like all the innocent people are the ones that are getting shot nowadays, and not the ones that are doing the crimes."

Police are asking for information in this case. If you have any information, please call the Los Angeles Police Dept. at (877) LAW-FULL, or (877) 529-3855.


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