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Local News in Brief : Boyfriend Held in Slaying of Girl, 16

The boyfriend of a 16-year-old girl shot to death as she rode in a pickup truck near downtown Los Angeles has been charged with murder for allegedly setting off the shooting.

The girl, Sandra Maldonado, was riding in the back of the truck with her 17-year-old boyfriend about midnight Aug. 19, when a group of men on the sidewalk yelled out a gang name and opened fire on the truck, Los Angeles police said. Sandra was hit twice in the head.

Police originally believed Sandra and her boyfriend had been mistaken for rival gang members as they drove through the area after a night of dancing. But police later determined that the boyfriend was, in fact, a gang member and had started the shoot-out by firing into the group on the street, Detective Ron Vega said.

“He didn’t kill her but he was directly the cause of her death,” Vega said.

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The boyfriend, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, is being held without bail at Central Juvenile Hall. Police are still searching for the person who fired the fatal shots.


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