Family and friends remembered on Monday a check cash clerk gunned down in a brazen daytime robbery as an "awesome" and "beautiful" young woman who took pride in everything she did.
Vanessa Martinez was shot Friday while working at a Check ‘n Go in Chino in a robbery police say was caught on surveillance camera. Two men were arrested in connection with the slaying, police said.
"They took her life … They took a big part of our life,” said Martinez’s brother Joe Cabialez, through tears. "She was awesome, definitely the best sister I could ask for."
Family members said Martinez had been looking for another job when she was gunned down. She had recently submitted a job application to a nearby nursing home.
"She wanted something better for herself," said Christal Daniel, of the San Marino Manor.
Daniel said she had been planning to call Martinez Friday to tell her that she had gotten the job. She said Martinez told her she wanted the new job partly because she feared for her safety.
“We talked about how she lets people in,” Daniel said. “And she says, ‘Sometimes when you press that button you just never know who you're letting in.’"
Marcy Schneidmiller, a customer, said everytime she went to the business she wondered why there was no bulletproof glass.
Martinez’s family declined to comment about the store's security.
Local news from across Southern California
They’re trying to come to grips with their loss.
"We are in shock,” said her mother, Ruby Saenz.
More Southern California Stories: