Westmont shooting: Mother makes emotional plea in daughter's shooting


Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca held a news conference with Russell's family Friday afternoon at the scene of the shooting. The girl's mother made an emotional statement to the public.

"I don't have no closure. I've been going around the house, I've been calling my baby, I've been calling her cellphone just to hear her voice," said Donna Wade, Russell's mother, who broke down in tears. "I don't think it's fair to me, this is not fair to me at all. It's not fair to Unique."

Russell's step mother voiced her frustration with the cycle of gang violence.

"We have a code around here, 'nobody saying anything,' and because of that our kids are dying," said Wendell Walker, Russell's step mother.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies are searching for two suspects in the triple shooting that killed Russell and injured two other people.

Russell 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.

Russell's two cousins, a 12-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man, also were hit by bullets and taken to the hospital.

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 Detective Gary Sloan.

On the night of Russell's murder, another Fourth of July gathering also ended with the killing of 25-year-old Morehouse graduate Dennis Tillet.

Tillet and his partner, Britten Rogers, were at a friend's party in Hyde Park when someone fired shots outside.

"Everybody just started running in the house and he ran straight towards me and my friend and looked at me and he said, 'I've been shot,'" said Rogers.

Tillet died at the hospital.

Police are also investigating the shooting of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed on Manchester Avenue at about 2 a.m. July 5.

Anyone with information on any of the shootings is asked to call Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

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