A mother of three has been killed by a stray bullet after she got caught in a drive-by shooting while out to get food for her children.
Maria Mora, 36, was reportedly shot in the city of Santa Ana, in Orange County, in the US state of California, on 4th December, with the Santa Ana Police Department saying in a statement on 10th December that she was “an innocent bystander” and that the violence could be “gang related”.
Maria was fatally shot after the drive-by targeted two teenagers in a car park. They reportedly escaped unharmed, but Maria later passed away in hospital on 9th December.
Footage of the incident shows the moment the two teenagers were targeted. The gunman missed their target but Maria was reportedly shot in the upper torso.
The police statement also said: “On Sunday, December 4, 2022, at 4:27 PM, Santa Ana Police Communications received a report of a shooting with a female down at 1400 South Cypress Street.
“Officers responded and located an adult female in the parking lot of 1473 South Main Street, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to her upper torso. Orange County Fire Authority treated the victim at the scene and transported her to a local hospital where she was listed in critical condition.
“During the preliminary investigation, officers determined that two male juveniles were shot at by subjects in a white-colored sedan. The juveniles ran into the parking lot as they were being fired upon. The victim, an innocent bystander, was struck by the gunfire. The two juveniles were not injured.
“On Friday, December 9, 2022 the victim was pronounced deceased. She is identified as Maria Del Refugio Mora (36) of Santa Ana.
“The circumstances surrounding this shooting are currently being investigated, however detectives believe the motive could be gang related. Detectives are attempting to identify and locate any witnesses who can shed light on this incident.”
No suspects had been arrested at the time of writing, according to local media.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Maria’s cousin to help support her children. It had raised over USD 17,000 (GBP 13,730) out of a USD 29,000 (GBP 23,430) goal at the time of writing.
The police have said that anyone with information regarding the shooting should contact the Orange County Crime Stoppers.