LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police Wednesday were investigating the fatal shooting of a discount store clerk in South Los Angeles.
The shooting took place Tuesday night at Happy Bargain 99 Cents Store in the 7400 block of S. Broadway, police said.
According to authorities, an unidentified man robbed the store around 9 p.m. and shot 39-year-old Martha Sanchez multiple times in the torso.
The suspect, described only as a black male in his 30s, fled the scene on foot and was last seen heading southbound on Broadway, police said.
Sanchez, who was found by a customer, was transported to a local hospital where she died.
Police said the shooting was not gang-related and there were no witnesses.
“There are several video cameras in the area,” Det. Eric Crosson of the LAPD said. “This is definitely going to shake some people up and I think that it’s just a matter of time before we have our suspect in custody.”
The store owner said Sanchez, a wife and mother-of-five with children ranging in age from 3 to 18-years-old, had been working at the business for approximately one year prior to her death.
Detectives held a news conference Wednesday afternoon as family, friends and neighbors gathered in mourning, asking that anyone with information come forward.
The victim’s daughter, Gabriela Sanchez, spoke with KCAL9′s Juan Fernandez, pleading for the public’s help in the search for her mother’s shooter.
“Come forward to give any information that you have, because to kill a lady while she is working, trying to earn money to support her family, it’s not fair. That person destroyed our family. My little brother is three-years-old and will not know who his mom was,” Gabriela said, remembering her mother.
“She was the sweetest person that you could ever meet. She was hard working and she was our best friend. A role model. And she was always there for us.”
Martha Sanchez’s brother, Juan Arevalo, called for justice.
“He has to be in jail. That is why we are asking the community. If you see somebody, say something. Let the police know. People like this person should not be free on the street,” he said.
Sen. Curren Price, representing the City Council’s 9th District, also spoke at the gathering.
“We are here with sadness today about another criminal activity with a gun that resulted in the senseless and tragic slaying of a member of our community,” Carranza said.
“We have to do all we can to apprehend the individual responsible. If you have any information, if you have any leads, please turn them over to the police. We cannot tolerate this kind of activity in our community. We won’t tolerate it,” he added.
“The police and the community must come together to make sure that we keep our streets safe so that those that are here providing a living, providing jobs, supporting families can be safe. No one is safe when anyone is harmed. So we will be working closely with the authorities and I’m going to be offering a motion for a reward, and we hope that individuals who have any information at all will please step forward, cooperate with the police and we honor the life that was taken today.”
Detectives are sorting through video captured on security cameras in and outside of the store. They say the suspect fled on foot heading south on Broadway.
Anyone with information should contact the LAPD’s Criminal Gang/Homicide Division at (213)485-1383.