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  • Death date
  • Nov. 6, 2009

Maria Valderrama, 17

Maria Valderrama, a 17-year-old Latina, was shot and killed  Friday, Nov. 6, in the 2400 block of North Daly Street in Lincoln Heights, authorities said.

Valderrama was shot and killed by her 20-year-old boyfriend during a domestic dispute, according to Los Angeles police. The man then turned the gun on himself, police said

The shooting was reported about 8:30 p.m. at an apartment complex. Police officers with the LAPD's Hollenbeck Division found Valderrama dead from a gunshot wound to the back of the head, said LAPD Officer Gregory Baek.

A short time later, as police searched for the gunman, the 20-year-old man, identified by police as Juan Carlos Mendez, was found in a nearby alley with a gunshot wound to the chest area, Baek said.

"At some point, either at the scene or in the ambulance, he admitted to shooting the girl," Baek said.

Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said Mendez and Valderrama had been dating for two years and were involved in a dispute at the apartment when Mendez allegedly shot her. He then fled and shot himself nearby, Baek said.

-- Ruben Vives

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