Neighborhood residents marched Friday from the 77th Street police station in South Los Angeles to the “Happy Bargain” discount store where 39-year-old Martha Sanchez was shot and killed Tuesday.
Police say the mother of five was confronted by the robber about 8:50 p.m. as she was closing up at the store on Broadway, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“What it appears to be is that somebody came in and tried to rob the store … and during the course of that robbery, shot her,” said Detective Chris Barling of the LAPD.
On Friday, neighbors and community activists expressed outrage that the gunman was brazen enough to kill someone within walking distance to a police station.
Neighbor Luz Chaides says she’s afraid and that she is not the only one.
“I’m pretty sure other families are living in terror,” Chaides said. “This has to stop. It’s like a war zone in our community.
Friends and relatives gathered outside the store Wednesday afternoon, many in disbelief.
Daughter Gabriela Sanchez, 18, cried as she spoke about her mother at a news conference.
“She was my role model. She was my best friend,” she said of her mother. “She was everything to me. And now she’s gone.”
Co-worker Jasmine Hernandez said Sanchez often talked about her children.
“She spoke often of her oldest daughter,” Hernandez told the L.A. Times. “She was so proud of her because she helped her a lot and was attending college.”
The store is located two blocks from the LAPD’s 77th Street Community Police Station.
The fact that the crime occurred so close to a police station was a troubling sign for residents.
“It tells you they’re not afraid of the police or anyone,” resident Tina Marie told the L.A. Times. “They’re heartless and fearless.”
Investigators said they have downloaded hours of video, which they are still reviewing.
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to contact police at 877-527-3247.