A 24-year-old mother died Christmas Day in the parking lot of what used to be a South Los Angeles hospital, the replacement for which has been chronically delayed, authorities said.
Juliana Barrios was struck by gunfire in a drive-by shooting in the 700 block of East 87th Street in South LA about 5 p.m. Wednesday, officers from the LAPD South Bureau Homicide Division said. She was visiting the area with family members and going to a Christmas party when she was shot.
Barrios’ friends and family brought her to Martin Luther King Ambulatory Care Center in the 12000 block of Wilmington Avenue, even though it is no longer a hospital.
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The Los Angeles Fire Department told NBC4 that, had they been called, their paramedics would not have brought her to that location because there is no trauma center there.
Construction of the new hospital that is supposed to be built in its place has been delayed to 2015. The previous hospital was shut down in 2007.
Police have asked for the public’s help to find out who shot Barrios. Investigators said a dark pick-up truck pulled up to where the young mother was standing and opened fire.
Police said it does not appear Barrios was involved in any gang activity, they’re looking into the possibility that the shooting was gang-related.
Anyone with information on this homicide is urged to call the LAPD's Southeast Division at 213-972-7828.