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Slain Teenagers Had No Gang Ties, Police Say

November 14, 1998

LONG BEACH — Police said Friday that detectives have no reason to believe that a teenage couple who were killed in north Long Beach this week had any connections to gangs.

Sweethearts Jessica Cotto, 15, and Roger Hernandez, 17, were killed by a single bullet Tuesday evening. The bullet tore through Hernandez's back and pierced Cotto's chest, according to neighbors and family.

Authorities said the couple were either hugging or that Hernandez was trying to shield his girlfriend when the killer shot them.

Police initially said they were investigating the possibility that the shooting was gang-related, but a spokesman said Friday that they had no records indicating that either victim had ties to gangs. He said police have no new leads on who killed the couple.

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