LA sheriff wants answers in slayings of ‘innocent’ teen girls

Written by on January 16, 2020

Evgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — Two teenagers were sitting in a car with their friends when they were shot dead in a “senseless crime” in Los Angeles, and now authorities are pleading with the public to help find their killers.

A $30,000 reward was offered Wednesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those behind the slayings of Erin Lavender, 19, and Dalelaja Hearn, 17.

It was Dec. 15, 2019, just before 9 p.m., when Lavender and Hearn were sitting in a car with three friends outside a home in Carson, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s when two suspects walked toward them, and one of the suspects aimed inside the car, firing “indiscriminately,” said sheriff’s homicide Lt. Brandon Dean, citing surveillance video.

Lavender, who was in the driver’s seat, and Hearn, who was in the front passenger seat, were both struck, said Dean. One of the surviving friends saw they had been hit, jumped in the driver’s seat and rushed them to a hospital, he said.

These “two innocent young women” were “just beginning their lives,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Lavender was a college student while Hearn was in high school. Dean said both were “avid” softball players.

A motive is not known. There’s “no reason to believe why any of the five of them were a target of this violence,” Dean said.

But authorities do have one lead.

Surveillance video captured a light-colored SUV drive past the suspects and stop in the area for about one minute.

 

Full Video: Two suspects approach from the bottom right of screen, approach the vehicle where the two victims are sitting in the driver and passenger reseats, on the upper left of screen. pic.twitter.com/bnLrAgTvEf

— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) January 15, 2020

 

The authorities begged the driver of that SUV to come forward and said he or she may have witnessed something vital to the case.

“There are people out there that know what happened,” Dean said.

Carson Mayor Albert Robles also spoke at the news conference, urging those with information on the “catastrophic” and “senseless crime” to “do the right thing.”

“Share what information you know,” Robles pleaded, “so these killers are taken off the street.”

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