Police late Friday still declined to confirm or deny broadcast reports that said the initially mysterious killing of a teen girl in a Marina del Rey mall parking lot outside Jerry’s Famous Deli may not have been quite so mysterious — it may have been a drug deal gone bad.
The murder was originally thought to be a botched, random robbery in the normally safe community, but unconfirmed reports indicated that someone in the victim’s SUV may have been trying to sell marijuana when the shooting took place.
Homicide detectives searched Friday for the man reported to have gunned down the 17-year-old girl visiting from Texas at the shopping center in normally tranquil Marina del Rey, and the broadcast report indicated the killing may have been part of a possible drug transaction.
Officer Drake Madison of the LAPD’s Media Relations Section said he could not confirm the broadcast report that investigators said the boyfriend of the victim’s sister was in the SUV with the sisters and was allegedly trying to sell two pounds of marijuana.
The shooting took place in the parking lot of the Villa Marina Marketplace mall at Mindanao Way and Glencoe Avenue about 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Kristine Carman of Houston was shot in the head while sitting in an SUV parked near Jerry’s Famous Deli on the south end of the shopping center.
Police originally said there were at least two people in the SUV, but now apparently the boyfriend may have been a third person. Following the shooting, the person behind the wheel — apparently the victim’s sister — drove across the parking lot, stopping in a parking space outside a Panda Express, where Carman was ultimately found dead.
The suspect was described as a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a blue beanie, according to the LAPD. He fled the location in a dark SUV, possibly heading toward the Marina (90) Freeway, police said.
Lacey Carman of Marina del Rey wrote on Facebook that Kristine was her sister. Lacey Carman wrote she was the one driving the SUV and that “my sister was just murdered in front of me in a robbery gone wrong.” Her sister, she wrote, was “beautiful smart and undeserving” of the fate that befell her.
“I pray that God is real and holding my sisters hand right now. I pray that you never have to feel this pain or this self loathing,” she said. After the media storm erupted following the killing, the Facebook postings appeared to have been taken down.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the LAPD’s West Bureau homicide office at , or (877) LAPD-247. All tips can be made anonymously.
— Staff and wire reports
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