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Victim's Family Asks for Help

Crime: Relatives of man who was gunned down at a gas station hope public can aid in finding killers.


The family of an Arleta man who was fatally shot at a gas station three months ago joined Los Angeles police detectives Wednesday in asking for the public's help in finding his killers.

Jose Alejandro Padilla, 18, was shot once in the head April 25 as he rode as a passenger in a Chevy Suburban that was riddled with bullets on Roscoe Boulevard near Webb Avenue in Sun Valley, said Det. Vince Bancroft of the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Division.

Padilla died two days later at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.

"My son did not deserve to die like he did," said Padilla's 62-year-old father, also named Jose. "He did not deserve that violent death."

Police released video captured by surveillance cameras at the gas station on the night of the shooting, hoping someone might identify a late model turquoise sedan, possibly a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, thought to be driven by the killers. The car had shiny rims and very thin "low-profile" tires, Bancroft said.

The assailants pulled in front of the Suburban about 10:15 p.m., blocking it from leaving the station. Without warning, three or four occupants of the sedan fired at least 25 shots at the Suburban, Homicide Det. Mike Coffey said. Two other men in the Suburban were injured and were treated and released from a local hospital.

Witnesses told police that the sedan fled east on Roscoe Boulevard, Bancroft said.

Padilla would have received his high school equivalency diploma in June at the North Valley Occupational Center in Mission Hills and was scheduled to begin a warehouse job the day after he was shot, his girlfriend, Jenny Molina, said. He was working to support his 16-month-old daughter, Desyrae, Molina said.

Police said they hope the release of the surveillance tape brings some tips.

"We are basically stalled" with the investigation, Bancroft said. "We found numerous people who heard gunshots, but no one who saw anything."

Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at (818) 623-4075.

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