ALHAMBRA ( —  Authorities say a 45-year-old motel clerk was shot to death during an attempted robbery in Alhambra.

The incident unfolded just before 11 p.m. Friday at the Ambassador Inn in the 2700 block of Valley Boulevard.

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It was there that detectives learned that police responded to a call of a “person down.”

When they arrived, they learned that the victim was working behind the counter when a male suspect attempted to rob her at gunpoint.

Police said during the commission of the robbery, the victim was shot in the torso at least once.

Xiuxia Chen, also known as Michelle Chen, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspect fled.

On Saturday, CBS 2’s Greg Mills spoken to Chen’s distraught  husband and daughter.

“It’s hard, devastating,” said Armando Escandor,  Chen’s husband of 23 years. “Even for my daughter. We just want to be strong, strong because we don’t have any family or relatives here.”

The couple had two children. Their son is overseas serving in the Navy.

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“Just the three of us now,” said Escandor,”Before we were four. They took one of my …”

He was too emotional to continue the sentence. Daughter Analisa, 12, is also understandably feeling the loss deeply.

“It’s devastating to me because I only got to spend a limited amount of time with her in my life,” she said.

Chen worked at the Ambassador for six years. It’s a place where people sometimes stay for weeks or months at a time.

Mills spoke to one guest who was emotionally wrecked on hearing the news of the murder. He didn’t want his face shown.

“Tears. Tears. When someone like this is taken away like this, it’s wrong,” said the man.

“She was extremely kind to everybody,” said one woman.

Escandor arrived to pick up his wife at 11:30 p.m. and said he saw police and crime scene tape and didn’t know what was going on.  After waiting for several hours, he learned his wife had been shot to death.


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