The unidentified victim was sitting in the front passenger seat of a car in the area of 17th Street East and Avenue R just after noon Friday when she was shot in the head in a drive-by attack. Deputies located the vehicle in which she was traveling in the 37800 block of Melton Avenue, according to sheriff’s officials.
The girl was taken to a hospital and was in extremely critical condition, officials said. She is about 16 years old, said Lt. Adam Ellison of the sheriff’s Palmdale Station.
Ellison told City News Service early Monday morning that the girl was still clinging to life.
“It surprised me and it surprised the hospital since they had told us she was death-imminent when she was transported there,” Ellison said. “So we are all waiting to see what happens.”
Detectives believe the shooting was gang-related, he said without elaborating.
Several hours after the shooting, a vehicle believed to have been involved in the shooting was stopped by deputies from the sheriff’s Palmdale Station in the area of Palmdale Boulevard and 10th Street East in Palmdale, and three people were detained, officials said.
One was released, but two others — 21-year-old Fernando Albarran Jr. and 20-year-old Jaime Alberto Espinoza, both of Palmdale — were booked at the Palmdale Station, where they each were being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, said Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Espinoza and Albarran are well-known to law enforcement, and both have previous arrests on their records, mostly by sheriff’s deputies in Palmdale, according to jail records.
Espinoza, who turns 21 in two weeks, was previously arrested on March 10, 2013 for an unspecified misdemeanor and sentenced to 30 days; on May 29, 2013, for an unspecified felony but released on his own recognizance; on Feb. 5 of this year by San Fernando police for a felony for which he posted $10,000 in bail; on Sept. 12 he was booked again but released on bond; on Nov. 10 on an apparent bench warrant for another unspecified misdemeanor for which he was sentenced to 30 days.
Albarran had one previous arrest — on March 6, 2013, for which he was sentenced to 486 days in jail, according to L.A. County jail records.
Both men were due in Antelope Valley Superior Court in Lancaster on Tuesday morning, according to jail records.
—City News Service
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