Detectives, family seek public's help to ID Alhambra mom's killer

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (KABC) -- At an emotional news conference Tuesday morning, family members and sheriff's investigators pleaded for help in identifying the gunman who fatally shot a mother of two in Alhambra during an attempted hotel robbery in June.

Xiuxia Chen "was always known as a very loving person - caring and empathetic, never failed to leave a lasting impression on any person she had met, including the guests at her hotel," her son told reporters.

Chen, 44, was shot to death while working at the Ambassador Inn in the 2700 block of West Valley Boulevard on June 2. The victim, who was affectionately known as Michelle, had worked at the hotel for six years.

The masked suspect entered the business and pointed a handgun at Chen shortly before 11 p.m. The man demanded money, reached over the counter, then shot Chen, investigators said.

The suspect then fled the location on foot, heading westbound on the sidewalk in front of the hotel and out of view.

At Tuesday's news conference, detectives announced a $20,000 reward in the case and showed chilling surveillance footage of the moments before and immediately after the shooting. The video shows the gunman confronting Chen and then making his escape.

"The hope is that with your help, investigators will be able to obtain additional information and leads for this senseless murder," a sheriff's detective said.

Chen's husband, Armando Escandor, was overcome with emotion as he recalled "my loving wife."

"Please help us catch this man," the victim's son said. "All I want to tell this man, though, is: Why did you have to go too far -- so far as to take away an amazing woman from this world and from the lives of my family?"

The shooter is described as a male adult, standing between 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet tall, with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweater and a dark-colored glove.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
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