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News Release

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Media Relations

Passenger in Car, Killed While Waiting for Light to Change NR09375SF

Los Angeles:  Police need the public’s help to identify and bring to justice the man responsible for killing a teenage girl Saturday night.

On August 1, 2009, at around 9:50 p.m., Martha Cruz, an 18 year-old Hispanic woman, was riding in a car with her cousin and two friends. The driver of the vehicle had stopped for a red light at the intersection of Normandie Avenue and 29th Street.  

As they waited for the light to turn green, a light colored four-door sedan with tinted windows pulled up next to the driver’s side of their car. The suspect, the front seat passenger, rolled down his window and yelled “where you all from;” a common term asked by gang members, referring to gang affiliation.

The driver of Cruz’s vehicle shouted a reply, at which time the suspect drew a chrome revolver and fired multiple gunshots at the car. Cruz, seated in the back seat, was struck by the gunfire.  The driver immediately drove to a local hospital, where Cruz was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Southwest Homicide Detectives Dave Dilkes and Sean Hansen are conducting the investigation.  Anyone with information is asked to call them at 213-485-1383. During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log on to and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”  Tipsters may remain anonymous.