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Girl Held, 2 Men Sought in Actor's Killing

Police refuse to provide any details about a teen taken into custody in the shooting of 26-year-old Merlin Santana.

November 12, 2002|Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein . | Times Staff Writers

Police arrested a teenage girl Monday and were seeking two men in connection with the fatal shooting two days earlier of actor Merlin Santana.

Santana, 26, best known for his role as Romeo Santana on "The Steve Harvey Show," was shot as he sat in a parked car in the 3800 block of Victoria Avenue, a quiet residential street in South Los Angeles.

Sources said that Santana and a friend had been at a nearby home in the early hours of Saturday morning with the girl, whom he had met recently. She left the home and later returned outside the residence about 2:45 a.m. accompanied by two men in a car, sources said.

Santana and his friend had gotten in another vehicle to leave when one of men shot him in the head as he sat in the passenger seat, sources said.

His friend drove to Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards and flagged down a police car. Santana died at the scene, according to Los Angeles Lt. Clay Farrell.

LAPD officials declined to identify the girl.

"We aren't releasing further details because it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation," Los Angeles Police Officer Jason Lee said. The department has assigned eight detectives to the case

The New York-born Santana, whose parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic, earned nominations for the NAACP Image Awards and ALMA Awards, which honor Latino performers, for his role on "The Steve Harvey Show" on the WB Network.

Santana also appeared on other television shows, including "The Cosby Show," "Major Dad," "Moesha" and "Sister, Sister." He was in the regular casts of "Getting By" and "Under One Roof."

Police ask that anyone with information related to Santana's slaying contact LAPD's Robbery Homicide Division at (213) 485-2129.

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