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Christina Salazar, L.A. Homicide No. 48: Teen Girl Shot Dead in Back by Neighbors

Christina Salazar
Christina Salazar
Courtesy of Cynthia Secrest

Christina Salazar, a 17-year-old Latina girl, was shot in the back near USC on March 2.

According to an anonymous cousin's email obtained by Simone Wilson of the Weekly, Salazar stumbled over to the driveway of the cousin's apartment after being shot on the corner of Maple Avenue and East Adams Boulevard. Paramedics stationed at a convalescent home across the street saw that Salazar was hurt and rushed over to try to resuscitate her.

The cousin told the family that she was bleeding too much for any real chance at recovery. Salazar was then taken to the hospital, where she was declared dead.

At the time officials were still unaware exactly how the shooting went down, but the family and neighborhood story goes something like this: 18-year-old Diana Garcia allegedly walked up to Salazar with gun in hand. Her brother, Peter Garcia supposedly grabbed the gun out of her hand, accidentally shooting Diana in the leg, and then allegedly shot Salazar.

After shooting the victim, the gunman tried to hide, but witnesses pointed out his location to LAPD officers. Moments later, Peter Garcia hopped in his silver Ford Expedition and fled the scene.

The police chased the suspect by car for 30 minutes through south downtown until Garcia exited the SUV, lay on the pavement and was arrested just blocks from where the shooting occurred. His sister Diana was later arrested too, after she was treated for her gunshot wound at a local hospital.

Diana was eventually released from jail, but her brother, at the time, was still incarcerated with a $1 million bail.

At the time of the murder, authorities had not identified a possible motive, but Salazar's twin sister, Crystal Salazar, said that there had been bad blood between her sister and Diana for years. Crystal said that most of their fighting stemmed from "jealousy and envy."

Salazar attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where she was hoping to earn a GED. She is survived by four sisters, including her aforementioned twin, and her mother.

Note: Due to technical difficulties, the LA Weekly's archive of all homicides within Los Angeles city limits was discontinued near the end of last year. We will be rolling out the 2011 homicides, one by one, until our "Murder was the Case" archive is up to date. Thanks for your patience.


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