Woman fatally shot, two teens wounded

LOS ANGELES It was an act of kindness that put a Wilmington woman and her two daughters into the cross hairs of street thugs. They had baked a cheesecake and had taken it to the woman's adult son when a car pulled up and opened fire. All three were hit as 37-year-old Stephanice Smith idled her car in front of her house where her 21-year-old son lives. Her son's home is just west of the Harbor Freeway at Denver and 102nd Streets.

"We heard nine shot and we just came out and heard somebody screaming ... saying, 'Oh my God! Oh my God!' And everybody ... we all came out, and just we didn't see nobody," said Maurice Ramirez, a neighbor.

Smith and her daughters were rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where she died of her wounds. Smith's 15-year-old daughter was hit in the jaw and neck. She was in critical condition on Monday. Smith's 13-year-old was less seriously hurt but she remained hospitalized.

"She's not a gang banger. She's a working woman ... very nice very sweet ... very, very humble," said Angelo White, a family member.

The father, Ronald Simpson, is a gang intervention counselor with One Way Outreach. He says whoever shot his family should know they made a mistake.

"Whoever did that ... You all are killing kids, you know? You all need to stop killing kids. You out here ... black-on-black crime killed my wife ... A loving mother - a good mother. And, you shot two kids. So think about it ... you need to really think about it," said Ronald Simpson.

Simpson says that after delivering the cake, his wife gave her son a quick run to the market. The car with the gunmen apparently followed them back.

"For nothing. For taking a cheesecake. To being a good mother. You know, got up out of bed, cooked dinner at home, left with my kids to go take her other son a cheesecake and died for it," said Ronald Simpson.

LAPD South Bureau detectives are investigating the case. So far they have made no comment about it, but one detective says that he seriously doubts that Stephanice Smith was the target of the shooters.

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