A story for every victim

Martha Monserat Cruz, 18

Martha Cruz, an 18-year-old Latina, was fatally shot Aug. 1. She was shot while sitting in a car that was stopped at a red light in the 2900 block of South Normandie Avenue in Adams-Normandie, authorities said. Cruz was taken to a hospital where she died a short time later.

Cruz was riding in the back seat when the driver stopped for a red light. Her cousin and two friends were also in the car, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

While the driver was waiting for the light to turn green, another car – described by LAPD as a "light colored four-door sedan with tinted windows" – pulled up next to them. The front-seat passenger in the sedan shouted to Cruz's car, asking the occupants where they were from, according to the LAPD.

This is a common question asked before gang-related homicides, meant as an opportunity for the victim to identify his or her gang affiliation, according to the LAPD.

The passenger in the sedan then pulled out a chrome revolver and fired several shots into the vehicle, hitting Cruz. The driver took her to the hospital, where she died, according to the LAPD.

Anyone with information about this killing is asked to call LAPD Southwest Division Dets. Dave Dilkes or Sean Hansen at (213) 485-1383.

-- Anthony Pesce

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