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Crime News Murders

Expectant California Mother's Shooting Death 'Was Not Random,' Family Says

Marissa Perez, who was reportedly four months pregnant, was with her father en route to a birthday celebration when an as-yet unidentified person pulled up and opened fire, the victim's family says. 

By Jax Miller
7 Statistics About Shootings Incidents in America

A pregnant California woman was shot to death in her father’s car while on her way to buy a birthday cake, according to loved ones.

Marissa Alexis Perez, 25, was gunned down on Dec. 29 at around 7:30 p.m. while in the passenger’s seat of her father’s vehicle, according to ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC. The victim’s mother, Sandra Tolentino, told reporters Perez was about four months pregnant, and had expected to deliver her baby in June.

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Loved ones believe Perez was the victim of a targeted attack.

“It wasn’t random, we know that,” Tolentino stated. “It was not random.”

The ambush happened near the intersection of Pioneer and Artesia boulevards in Artesia, which is about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Perez and her father were on their way to buy a birthday cake for Perez’s aunt, and had plans to attend the aunt's birthday celebration thereafter.

Crime Scene Tape

Tolentino said that was when an as-yet unidentified person pulled up alongside father and daughter and opened fire, shooting Perez multiple times — including at least once in the head — according to KABC.

Perez was transported to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Los Angeles television station KTLA reported.

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“She was 25. She was about to be a mother in five more months,” the grieving mother told KABC. “She was so happy.”

Perez’s brother, Isaac Tolentino, told KTLA that Perez was “excited” about the pregnancy and that it made her seem “like a whole new person.”

“I’ve never seen my sister glow like that,” he said.

So far, there have been no arrests, nor an indication of a possible motive.

Oxygen.com reached out to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department but did not receive an immediate response.

Sandra Tolentino told the ABC affiliate that her daughter “should have never been taken from us in that way.”

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“She still had such a life ahead of her, and it kills me that we won’t be able to have that next chapter,” she said. “Don’t hold grudges and just love. Love so hard because you just never know when will be the last time to say goodbye.”

On Saturday, loved ones created a GoFundMe page as Perez’s family continues to feel an “immense feeling of loss and sorrow,” according to the fundraiser’s page.

“Marissa was the most loving daughter, sister, cousin, and friend. Marissa was expecting the biggest blessing, a baby, in June,” said loved ones. “Anyone who knew Marissa knew she was the most loyal, outgoing, and strongest person.”

The family thanked everyone for their love and support.

“She always cared for so many people,” the victim’s mother told KABC. “Her heart was literally on her sleeve every day.’

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department's homicide bureau at 1-323-890-5500.

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