Mourners Remember Mother of Four Killed in Murderous Rampage

on Jul27
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Mourners paid their respects Friday night for a mother of four who was ambushed and gunned down while she worked at a Shell gas station by a suspect on murderous shooting rampage across the San Fernando Valley.

About 30 family members and friends gathered at the North Hollywood gas station where Azucena “Susie” Lepe, 45, was killed on Thursday. She was working an overnight shift when she was shot and killed.

“The one thing I want to remember is her smile and her laughter,” said Sandra Rosales, a cousin. “She made people happy.”

Lepe’s brother Cuco said accused gunman Gerry Dean Zaragoza, 26, wanted a relationship with her and that he persisted, but she wasn’t interested.


Carlos Zaragoza, 50, was allegedly fatally shot by his son Gerry Zaragoza on Thursday, July 25, 2019. Police also suspect Zaragoza in the killing of his brother and shooting of his mother.

Photo credit: Family

“He was just an acquaintance,” he said. “No part in her life.”

Zaragoza’s life was troubled and unraveling, according to co-workers of his father, Carlos Zaragoza, 56, who was also killed in the rampage at the hands allegedly of his distraught son.

The senior Zaragoza was a longtime carpet cleaner adored by his colleagues.


Carlos Zaragoza, 33, was killed Thursday July 25, 2019 in one of four fatal shootings in the San Fernando Valley allegedly carried out by his brother.

Photo credit: Jason Zepeda

“He was so loving,” said Nicole Whitnall, the victim’s co-worker.

Co-workers say the father tried to get his son help. His other son, also named Carlos, tried as well. He was also killed in the rampage.


Azucena Lepe was identified as one of four victims killed by a gunman who opened fire Thursday July 25, 2019 at locations in the San Fernando Valley.

Photo credit: Family Photo

“He had such a beautiful spirit,” said Jason Zepeda, the victim’s friend.

Also killed in the rampage was an unidentified man in his 50s, shot on an Orange Line bus in Van Nuys.

LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes, the commander of the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference that it appeared the gunman didn’t even talk to his last victim.

“He’s getting off the bus and he turns and shoots the person,” Hayes said. “It doesn’t look like there was any interaction between them.”

The nearly 13-hour crime spree began in Canoga Park early Thursday morning at the Zaragozas’ apartment, authorities said. It ended Thursday afternoon with Zaragoza’s arrest.

Gerry Zaragoza’s mother was shot and wounded in the rampage. An unidentified man who worked at the Shell gas station was also wounded.

Gerry Zaragoza is also a suspect in an attempted robbery outside a bank in Canoga Park.



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