Los Angeles

Seeking Justice: 15-Year-Old Has Perfect Attendance Despite Mom's Unsolved Slaying

The intended target ran away and is not cooperating with police.

Emily Cordera already had a lot on her mind as a 15-year-old new mother. But since a stray bullet killed her own single mom last summer, she hasn't missed a day of school and still searches for someone to come forward with information about the shooting.

"I always keep in mind that my mom's not with me physically but her spirit is always with me, and I always do what she would have wanted me to do," Cordera said.

Dianey Santos waited at a bus stop at the intersection of South Broadway and West 83rd Street in South Los Angeles on June 17, 2016 when two men nearby began arguing just before 9:45 p.m. The 39-year-old was caught in the crossfire when one man pulled out a gun and the other fled in the other direction. Surveillance cameras captured the pandemonium as the intended target ran away.

"This was an innocent person waiting for the bus," Los Angeles Police Department Detective Shawn Svoboda told NBC4. He said the shooter was brief but dangerous: "It looks like he doesn't even know where he's shooting."

Police officers and Cordera have already announced a $50,000 reward for any information in the case that could lead them to Santos's killer. For now, Cordera, her nine-year-old sister, and her infant son are being raised by their godparents.

Cordera's English teacher said she didn't have any inclination of her family's tragedy. "It was not until one day when she was sharing the video of her mother being shot on the news that I learned what happened. I burst into tears," Barbara Minton said. "No child should have to experience that."

Detectives said that the intended target lived to talk with police but hasn't been helpful in finding the shooter. The city of Los Angeles honored Cordera with a certificate of recognition for bravery for her efforts on Wednesday.

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