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Ice Cream Vendor Fatally Shot

Violence: Woman is killed in her van in Canoga Park. Robbery is believed to be the motive.

April 24, 2001

An ice cream vendor was shot and killed Monday evening as she neared the end of her shift in Canoga Park, and the killer remained at large.

Capt. Joseph Curreri of the Los Angeles Police Department's Devonshire Division said witnesses on the street saw an unidentified gunman shoot Carolyn LaFleur, said to be in her 50s, in the upper body as she sat in her van at 6:50 p.m. in the 8800 block of Variel Avenue. She died at the scene. Curreri said robbery appeared to be the motive.

LAPD spokesman Jason Lee said investigators are searching for two youths, ages 16 and 18, who reportedly ran from the scene.

LaFleur, a Van Nuys resident, had sold frozen treats from her van near the intersection of Parthenia Street and Variel for about 25 years, according to her daughter, Renee Jensen.

Jensen said LaFleur earned a modest living with the truck and was well known in the area.

"She didn't make enough money to rob," Jensen said. "It doesn't make sense that somebody from here would shoot her."

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