The Gardena High School softball team honored a former player, about four months after she was fatally shot in Lynwood while riding home from church with her family.
Investigators believe 16-year-old Danah Rojo-Rivas was an unintended victim of a gang-related shooting on the night of Nov. 23.
Danah hoped to become a volunteer at an animal shelter because she loved dogs. Relatives said Danah quit the team before she was killed and got a job so she could help support the family.
The team dedicated Monday’s game to Danah and displayed the No. 19 jersey she wore last season in her memory.
Her brother was also invited to throw out the first pitch, according to NBC4.
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, jumped out of the vehicle and ran behind the Mustang. The gunman continued to fire and a stray bullet pierced the rear of the Mustang and fatally struck the teen.
Her mother and brother were not injured, but the family dog, a white poodle mix, bolted out of the car and was killed by oncoming traffic.
Witnesses said at least two people were in the gunman’s vehicle, which sped away west on Euclid Avenue as the targets of the shooting ran off. Those witnesses didn’t provide enough details for investigators to identify the suspects or their vehicle.
A $30,000 reward has been offered for information leading to whoever is responsible for Danah’s killing.
Anyone with information about the shooting was urged to call sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Gray or Detective Adam Kirste at (323) 890-5500.
Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
—City News Service