Detectives seek three men in killing of woman run over by would-be robbers in Lancaster

Selfie of Samantha Mena.
Samantha Mena confronted two men after a robbery attempt; they then jumped into a car and ran her over, authorities say.
(Mauricio Mena)

Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives are seeking three men in the killing of a woman in Lancaster last week. The 31-year-old was run over by a car carrying a group of men whom she’d confronted after they tried to rob her boyfriend, authorities say.

About 8 p.m. on March 26, two men tried to rob Samantha Mena’s boyfriend at gunpoint in an apartment complex in the 44000 block of 15th Street West, Det. Ray Lugo said.

Mena heard the commotion from inside her apartment and ran outside. She chased the would-be robbers to a waiting silver, four-door sedan and stood in front of the car, Lugo said.


The driver ran over Mena with the car, Lugo said. She died from her injuries at a local hospital.

Three men are wanted in Mena’s killing: the two robbery suspects and a getaway driver who was behind the wheel of the sedan that struck her, Lugo said. Sheriff’s officials described the suspects in a bulletin as between the ages of 20 and 30.

Suspects in the killing of Samantha Mena.
Sheriff’s detectives are seeking to identify three suspects in the killing of Samantha Mena.
(L.A. County Sheriff’s Department)

Mena, the oldest of three siblings, grew up in the high desert and worked as a manager of a Starbucks at a Target in Lancaster, her family said. Her co-workers at the Starbucks were so distraught over her death that the coffee shop was closed Sunday, said her father, Mauricio Mena.

His daughter “was the most beautiful girl,” he said, “beautiful inside and outside.”

Mena was also taking online courses to work in airplane-parts manufacturing, said her brother, Matthew Mena. She had held off on having children until she saved up enough money to buy a home, her father said.

“She wanted to give them the best,” Mauricio Mena said.

He spoke with his daughter every day, and she always ended the call by saying she loved him. Now, he said, his voice breaking, “I have nobody to tell me that.”


The Sheriff’s Department, as well as Mena’s parents, asked that anyone who might know something about her death contact homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500.

“We don’t want this to just be a statistic,” Mauricio Mena said. “I know this is recent, but time is important right now.”