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California Briefing / Lincoln Heights

Girl, 16, fatally shot by boyfriend

November 08, 2009|Ruben Vives

A 20-year-old man shot and killed his teenage girlfriend during a domestic dispute before turning the gun on himself, police said Saturday.

The shooting was reported about 8:30 p.m. Friday at an apartment complex in the 2400 block of Daly Street. Police found the girl dead from a gunshot wound to the back of the head, said Officer Gregory Baek of the Los Angeles Police Department. She was identified as Maria Valderrama, 16.

A short time later, the 20-year-old man, identified by police as Juan Carlos Mendez, was found in a nearby alley with a gunshot wound to the chest area, Baek said.

"At some point, either at the scene or in the ambulance, he admitted to shooting the girl," Baek said.

Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said Mendez and Valderrama had been dating for two years.

-- Ruben Vives

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