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Thursday, January 5, 2023 – A 25-year-old pregnant woman from California was shot dead as she was headed to a birthday party in what her family said was a targeted drive-by shooting.
Marissa Perez was riding in the front passenger seat of her father’s car when the deadly incident took place around 7:30 p.m. last Thursday, Dec. 29 at the intersection of Pioneer and Artesia boulevards in the Los Angeles suburb of Artesia, news station ABC7 reported.
She was on the way to pick up a cake for her aunt’s birthday party when, according to her mom, another car pulled up next to them and the driver opened fire.
Sandra Tolentino told ABC7 that her daughter, who was due to give birth in June, was shot multiple times, including once in the head.
Perez was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her unborn baby did not survive.
“She was 25. She was about to be a mother in five more months. She was so happy,” said Tolentino. “I want justice for my daughter. I want justice for my grandbaby.”
Perez’s brother, Isaac Tolentino, told the station KTLA that his sister and her boyfriend were looking forward to welcoming their baby into the world.
He said: “She was so excited, she seemed like a whole new person. I’ve never seen my sister glow like that.”
Marissa’s mom added that investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department do not believe the drive-by shooting that claimed Perez’s life was a random act, but there was no immediate word on a possible motive.
“It wasn’t random. We know that. It was not random,” Tolentino said.
Perez’s family appealed to the public to come forward with information on the person who took the expectant mom’s life and that of her baby.