Long Beach police appeared to be flummoxed in their search for a gunman who murdered a mother and her kindergarten-age daughter in a part of the city that hasn't seen such violence in years.
Talking to reporters today, police discounted the possibility that this was gang-related or random; it appeared 26-year-old Carina Mancera and 4-year-old Jennabel Anaya were targeted when someone walked up to them and opened fire on a downtown-area street.*
Cops rushed to Ninth Street and Locust Avenue about 10:20 p.m Saturday, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
Mancera was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The girl was taken to a hospital in critical condition and died there Sunday morning, they said.
The gunman also fired a round at her father, Luis Anaya, but apparently missed, according to police and reports.
"The preliminary investigation determined the two victims and the child's father had just arrived home, and were walking to their nearby residence where they lived together, when the shooting occurred," police said in a statement. "A motive for the shooting is unknown and no suspect information is available at this time."
The violence shocked the community, which has improved a great deal since the 1990s, when shootings were much more common. Downtown has been revitalized, and neighbors told television news reporters they haven't seen anything like this in years.
Still, detectives were disappointed more witnesses or tipsters haven't come forward: Call 562-570-7244 if you think you can help.
Luis Anaya has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for memorial services and other expenses.
"Our family is heartbroken with this tragic event, and we hope that you can help us in this time of need," the page states.
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*CORRECTION: We originally attributed information about the case to the mayor of Long Beach. A representative said he hadn't spoken about the shooting.