Los Angeles

Increased Reward of $30K Offered to Find 16-Year-Old Girl's Killers

Investigators believe Danah Rojo-Rivas was an unintended victim of a gang-related shooting on the night of Nov. 23.

Officials and family members of a 16-year-old girl fatally shot in Lynwood while riding home from church in her family's car announced an increased reward of $30,000 and appeal to the public for information to help solve the case.

Investigators believe Danah Rojo-Rivas was an unintended victim of a gang-related shooting on the night of Nov. 23.

"I don't know who you are," said her mother. "I don't know your name but you had no right to take any life."

The victim's brother, Ethan Rivas, who was there at the time of the shooting, was stunned.

"I saw the life go out of her eyes and I stood there helpless, I couldn't do anything," he said.

The reward in the case, with funds approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and from a private contribution, has been upped from $20,000 to $30,000, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

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 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, exited his vehicle and ran behind the Mustang. The gunman continued to fire and a stray bullet entered the rear of the Mustang and struck and killed Danah.

The mother and brother were not injured, but the family dog, a small, white poodle mix, ran scared out of the car and was hit and killed by oncoming traffic, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Witnesses said at least two people were in the gunman's car that sped away west on Euclid Avenue as the targets of the shooting ran off. But those witnesses didn't provide enough details for investigators to identify the suspects or their vehicle.

Danah was on the softball team at Gardena High School and hoped to become a volunteer at an animal shelter because she loved dogs, according to the sheriff's department.

Sheriff's department investigators as well as county and Lynwood officials were expected to join members of the girl's family at a news conference Wednesday morning at Lynwood City Hall, where they will announce the increased reward and appeal for new tips in the case.

Anyone with information about the shooting was urged to call sheriff's Sgt. Robert Gray or Detective Adam Kirste at (323) 890-5500 or CrimeStoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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