Law enforcement officials and relatives of a 16-year- old girl fatally shot in Lynwood while riding home from church in her family’s car announced an increased reward Wednesday and appealed to the public for information to help find her killer.
Investigators believe Danah Rojo-Rivas was an unintended victim of a gang-related shooting on the night of Nov. 23.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $20,000 reward for information leading to the shooting, while two residents contributed funds to raise the reward to $30,000.
Danah was sitting in the back seat of her family’s Ford Mustang with her dog on her lap, riding home with her mother and 18-year-old brother from a church function at the New Horizons Missionary Baptist Church. While the Mustang was stopped at a red light on eastbound Euclid Avenue at Long Beach Boulevard, the family was caught in the line of fire of a car-to-car shooting.
The intended victim, a passenger in a burgundy Saturn SUV, exited his vehicle and ran behind the Mustang. The gunman continued to fire and a stray bullet entered the rear of the Mustang and fatally struck Danah.
The mother and brother were not injured, but the family dog, a small, white poodle mix, ran scared out of the car and was hit and killed by oncoming traffic, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.
Witnesses said at least two people were in the gunman’s car, which sped away west on Euclid Avenue as the targets of the shooting ran off. But those witnesses didn’t provide enough details for investigators to identify the suspects or their vehicle.
Danah’s mother, who spoke at a news conference Wednesday in Lynwood but asked that her name be withheld, made an emotional plea for help finding her daughter’s killer.
“I want to tell that person: I don’t know who you are, I don’t know your name, but you have no right to take any life,” she said. “You took my daughter’s life and she was a child of God. There will be justice. This person, whoever he was, might cause this to happen again. I don’t want anyone else to have to wake up and get ready for a funeral.”
Danah was on the softball team at Gardena High School and hoped to become a volunteer at an animal shelter because she loved dogs, according to the sheriff’s department. Her relatives said Danah recently quit the softball team and got a job so she could help support the family.
Anyone with information about the shooting was urged to call sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Gray or Detective Adam Kirste at (323) 890-5500 or CrimeStoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
–City News Service