A woman was shot and killed Tuesday night during an apparent robbery at a store in South Los Angeles, police said.
The victim, a clerk at the Happy Bargain store located at 7421 Broadway, was confronted by the robber about 8:50 p.m., 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 Det. Chris Barling of the LAPD.
The woman was identified as Martha Sanchez, a 39-year-old mother of five. She died at the scene, police said.
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.”
It was not known whether the robbery was successful. The gunman was described only as a man in his 30s.
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.
The L.A. Times contributed to this report.