The family of a woman killed at a North Hollywood gas station during a shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley Thursday say that her suspected shooter was “obsessed” with her.
The mother of four, Azucena Lepe, 45, was fatally shot at about 2:45 a.m. at a Shell station where she worked as a cashier, according to authorities and her family.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Lepe was killed by 26-year-old Gerry Zaragoza, who fatally shot his father and brother at a Canoga Park home before heading to the gas station and shooting Lepe and another man.
They were both transported to a hospital where Lepe was pronounced dead, police said. The man was listed in critical condition.
Family said Lepe went by the nickname “Susie.”
Her brother, Cuco Lepe, told KTLA that Zaragoza was obsessed with the woman, and that he had been harassing her for over a year, but they had never had a relationship.
LAPD Capt. William Hayes perviously said Zaragoza knew both victims and said Lepe had a relationship or was acquainted with the suspect.
Susie Lepe’s brother said he couldn’t believe what had happened when he found out.
“It was probably the most horrible moment of my life,” he said as he recalled his mother crying and pleading with God when she found out about his sister’s killing.
Cuco Lepe described his sister as a sweet person who loved making people laugh and smile.
“It’s horrible,” Cuco Lepe said. “This individual has no idea what pain is.”
A GoFundMe page for Susie Lepe was set up to raise money for funeral expenses.
Several hours after the shooting, Zaragoza allegedly tried to rob a man at a Bank of America in Canoga Park before he shot and killed an unidentified man in his 50s on an Orange Line bus in the area of Woodley Avenue and Victory Boulevard in Van Nuys, police said.
Zaragoza was finally taken into custody in Canoga Park, 12 hours after the rampage began, police said.
Cuco Lepe said he was relieved when Zaragoza was caught.
“We live in a violent community, violent city, violent state and it’s all part of the things we have to go through every day,” Cuco Lepe said.