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Family of Valley Crime Spree Victim Says Suspect Became Obsessed With Woman

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — A small memorial popped up overnight in front of the North Hollywood Shell gas station where a woman was fatally shot Thursday.

According to police, the woman — who has been identified by her family as 45-year-old Azucena "Susie" Lepe — was working at the gas station in the 6700 block of Vineland in the early morning hours. That's when police said 26-year-old Gerry Zaragoza fatally shot Lepe and critically injured a male gas station employee.

"She was face down, and she was crying," Jesse, a man who witnessed the shooting, said. "I just told her, 'I'm with you here.' I just wanted to comfort her, that she wasn't alone and that somebody was there. I don't want anybody to pass alone."

According to Lepe's sister, she and Zaragoza dated briefly. But when Lepe broke off the relationship, the family said Zaragoza became obsessed with the woman.

A GoFundMe has been set up by Lepe's family to help cover the cost of her funeral expenses and to support her four children.

Prior to the fatal shooting in North Hollywood, police allege Zaragoza fatally shot his father, 56-year-old Carlos Zaragoza, and brother, 33-year-old Carlos Zaragoza, Jr. at an apartment in the 21000 block of Roscoe Boulevard. Zaragoza's mother, Blanca, was also shot in the arm and transported to a hospital. She was expected to recover.

Zaragoza was arrested in Canoga Park shortly after he allegedly fatally shot an unidentified man on an Orange Line bus at Victory Boulevard and Woodley Avenue in the Van Nuys area.

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