LANCASTER (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Monday released photos of three men accused of killing a woman during an alleged attempted robbery in Lancaster.
According to LASD, the three men were allegedly involved in an attempted robbery at a residential complex in the 4400 block of 15th Street West on Friday at about 8:22 p.m.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot In Officer-Involved Shooting In San Fernando
When the suspects fled to their vehicle, Samantha Mena followed the men in an attempt to stop them. During the incident, the department said the men got into the vehicle and ran over Mena as they fled the scene.
“During that time, at some point, she was struck by a vehicle we believe,” LASD Lt. Charles Calderaro said. “Paramedics arrived, there was aid rendered to the victim, she was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced deceased.”
On Monday, a vigil was set up in front of the Racquet Club Apartments in Lancaster where friends and family paid their respects to the 31-year-old who died trying to help her boyfriend.
“She was very passionate and kind,” Chris Gonzalez, who was hired by Mena at a local Starbucks, said. “I wasn’t the best suited for the position, but, you know, that was something she was willing to give me.”READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot In Rowland Heights
Mena’s family said she never hurt anyone, because that’s how they raised her, and that she was strong-willed.
“She was brave enough to come forward and tell these guys, ‘What you’re doing is wrong,'” Jose Mena, her father, said. “But it cost her her life. To me, she’s a hero.”
Now the family is pleading with the public to identify the men suspected of killing her.
“Be ashamed of yourselves, you cowards,” Mena said. “We forgive you. We’re God-fearing people, we forgive you, but it’s never gonna bring our daughter back.”MORE NEWS: LAUSD Begins Phased-In Reopening Starting This Week
Anyone with information about the suspects’ identities or locations was asked to call the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.