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Thai girl hit last week by bullet dies

December 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

A 9-year-old girl from Thailand who was struck by a stray bullet a week ago while inside her Angelino Heights home has died.

Charupha Wongwisetsiri died Tuesday at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, spokesman Steve Rutledge said Wednesday. Charupha's mother, searching for a better life for her daughter, brought her to the United States about a year ago.

Prosecutors initially said they planned to file charges Wednesday against two men arrested in connection with the case, but Jane Robison, speaking for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, said they would delay the filings pending further investigation.

Cesar Zamora, 24, and Steven Andrew Castanon, 20, were being held on $50,000 bail each for investigation of attempted murder. Charupha's death probably will change that.

Charupha was standing next to her mother in the family's kitchen Dec. 20 when a car pulled up to Zamora and Castanon. The two were on the street in the neighborhood west of downtown, and someone in the car started shooting, authorities said.

The men shot back, and one bullet struck Charupha in the head. The shooting was gang-related, police said.

Detectives said Wednesday they were trying to identify the car and a man who shot at Zamora and Castanon.

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