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Detectives comb video in search of South L.A. store clerk's killer

September 19, 2013|By Nicole Santa Cruz, Ruben Vives and Ari Bloomekatz
  • Area resident Elsa Cabrera, 67, lights a candle at a makeshift memorial in front of the store where clerk Martha Sanchez, a 39-year-old mother of five, was fatally shot Tuesday night.
Area resident Elsa Cabrera, 67, lights a candle at a makeshift memorial… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

Los Angeles Police Department detectives are combing through hours of video in an attempt to identify the man who walked into a South L.A. discount store, robbed it, and shot and killed the clerk working there.

Authorities said the clerk, 39-year-old, mother-of-five Martha Sanchez,  was working at the Happy Bargain discount store about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday when the robbery and shooting occurred in the 7400 block of Broadway — just two blocks from the LAPD's 77th Street Station.

The suspect fled on foot and a customer later found the mortally wounded Sanchez and called for help. She was taken to a hospital, where she died, authorities said.

HOMICIDE REPORT: Tracking killings in L.A. County

Family members have called for the public's help in finding Sanchez's killer, saying she was a good, hardworking woman who cared deeply for her family.

"She was my role model. She was my best friend," daughter Gabriela Sanchez, 18, said during a news conference. "She was everything to me. And now she's gone."

Many of those who knew Sanchez gathered Wednesday outside the small store, saying they were saddened and shocked by the slaying.

Jasmine Hernandez, 25, of Los Angeles, said she met Sanchez about two years ago shortly after she was hired as a clerk at the store in the Florence neighborhood.

Hernandez said they often talked about Sanchez's family.

"She spoke often of her oldest daughter," Hernandez said. "She was so proud of her because she helped her a lot and was attending college."

Hernandez said about two weeks ago, Sanchez invited her to help celebrate her only son's 3rd birthday.

"This is just sad," Hernandez said. "She was a very good friend."


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