MONTEREY PARK (CBSLA.com) – Detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a male suspect in the shooting death of a 45-year-old motel clerk during an attempted robbery in Alhambra last month.
Xiuxia “Michelle” Chen was shot and killed June 2 while working the front desk of the Ambassador Inn at 2720 Valley Blvd.
At about 11 p.m., a man entered the motel, aimed a handgun at her and demanded cash. He then reached over the counter and shot her once in the chest before fleeing on foot, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Chen, a wife and mother of two, died at the scene.
At a news conference Tuesday in Monterey Park, the sheriff’s department released surveillance video and audio of the suspect. He can be heard yelling, “Do you want to die?”
Chen responds to the suspect, “Excuse me, I do not have any money for you.”
Following the shooting, a second camera shows the suspect leaving through the lobby of the motel, with a gun and black bag in hand. Police said the suspect fled without taking any cash.
Authorities are also looking for a woman who they say spoke to Chen at the counter just moments before the suspect entered and shot her. They believe the woman, described as a person of interest, was seen on surveillance video walking past the gunman outside the motel as he entered to commit the crime.
“Why did you have to go so far, so far as to take away an amazing woman from this world?” Armando Escando Jr., Chen’s son, told reporters at the news conference.
Escando Jr. was overseas serving in the Navy at the time of his mother’s death.
“All I want is justice for my loving wife,” said Armando Escandor, Chen’s husband of 23 years.
Chen had worked at the Ambassador for six years at the time of the shooting.
LASD also announced a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. The reward is being sponsored by the Alhambra City Council and Chen’s husband’s employer.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call LASD at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.