A stray bullet struck and killed a mother of two in Willowbrook when a fight that broke out during a gathering in a nearby parking lot resulted in gunfire.
Deputies responded about 11 p.m. Tuesday to a call of a gunshot victim on the 13100 block of San Pedro Street, south of East El Segundo Boulevard. They found the victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
No arrests have been reported. The victim was identified as 40-year-old Dorothea Mercer.
“She was a cool, loving person. She had kids,” said her brother, who asked not to be identified by name. “She was joyful, always having fun, always smiling.
“We heard some gunshots and stuff like that. I jumped out of my bed and looked outside."
Witnesses said that there was a gathering Tuesday night near the residence. People were in the parking lot for what appeared to be a candlelight vigil for another person involved in an unrelated incident. A fight broke out and bullets started to fly over the parking area and toward the apartments.
“My sister was on the bed, she was just bleeding, you know what I mean? So I called 911, and they were telling me to do CPR over the phone and try to revive her, stuff like that. I'm trying and trying and nervous at the same time,” her brother recalled. “She was looking out the window to see what was going on and a bullet came through the window and hit her."
Sheriff's homicide detectives are investigating the case but have yet to make an arrest.
“It's senseless man, I don’t know what’s going on,” the brother stated. “Every day it’s a different person dying over something senseless, you know?”
A GoFundMe account hopes to raise money for burial expenses and the two young daughters left behind. Beyond that, Dorothea’s family says they lean on their faith to get through.
“Just try to pray, keep prayers alive. Pray for the kids, pray for us, family and friends. Even for the people who did it, pray for them too.”