Westmont triple shooting kills 14-year-old girl; 2 sought


Unique Russell, 14, was celebrating the Fourth of July with her family and neighbors when gunfire erupted just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on the 1300 block of West 97th Street.

According to investigators, the victims were talking and watching fireworks on the front yard of a home when two men walked up to them and started shooting. Russell was fatally struck.

"Just all of a sudden, you hear everybody say, 'Get down, get down. They're shooting,'" said Russell's aunt, Emily Sharb-Williams.

Russell's two cousins, a 12-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man, also were hit by bullets. They were taken to the hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.

The suspects fled the scene on foot. Detectives said the shooting appears to be random. There was no altercation and no words were exchanged between the suspects and the victims. Authorities said the victims have no gang affiliation. They also did not have a suspect description or a motive.

"We have no indication that there was any altercation that led up to the actual shooting itself. It looks like an isolated incident that occurred, we are just unfortunately real limited in our information right now," said Los Angeles Sheriff's Det. Gary Sloan.

Russell's family is heartbroken and are hoping someone who may have seen something will come forward.

"I just can't understand it. I wish all this violence would stop. It needs to stop," said Sharb-Williams. "Whoever did this, I hope they have a conscience. If anybody knows what happened or has any clue, please, please turn it in to police, because a child didn't have to die for no reason."

Anyone with information was asked to call Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

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