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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NEWS

Dead Woman's Twins Listed as Stable, Critical

September 08, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Even the seasoned trauma specialists were shaken by the challenge delivered by ambulance to Martin Luther King-Drew Medical Center: a woman shot in the head, in cardiac arrest--and carrying twins.

It was just after 3 a.m. Saturday. Minutes earlier, Carmen Valencia had been asleep with her family in their South-Central Los Angeles motor home when the scratching at the door began.

Her husband, Florencio, remembers being awakened by the sound of a knife in the door lock. Then came the yelled demands of the intruder: "Give me your money!" The intruder abruptly fled.

About 20 minutes later, bullets slammed through the walls and windows and ricocheted wildly inside in the motor home, ripping through bedding, cereal boxes and vitamin bottles.

One bullet struck Carmen Valencia, 27, in the face and entered her brain. She was kept alive artificially just long enough to give birth to twin boys--delivered by caesarean section--at Martin Luther King Jr.-Drew Medical Center.

On Thursday, hospital officials declared that one of the twins, Joshua, was in stable condition. But his brother, Carlos, was in critical condition on a respirator.

Their mother, who worked as a teacher's aide, was pronounced dead on Tuesday. She also left a 14-year-old son.

Homicide investigators were searching for at least two suspects believed involved in what was apparently an attempted burglary.

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