PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police in North Philadelphia are investigating after a mother and her stepdaughter were killed overnight while sitting in a pickup truck.
Both were shot and killed in what police are calling a drive-by shooting in the Fairhill section of Philadelphia.
Police say gunfire erupted on the 3000 block of North Lawrence Street just after midnight.
When police and medics arrived they discovered a red pickup truck parked and still running.
Inside, 35-year-old Lylliana Mendoza shot dead in the driver’s seat and her stepdaughter 19-year-old Aslemarie Torres in the passenger’s seat.
They were both shot multiple times in the head and body.
The family tells Eyewitness News Mendoza and Torres had just returned home from picking up Mendoza’s 13-year-old stepson. The boy got out of this truck to remove a cone so his stepmom could park when a car pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted.
“He saw a gray car pull up and as soon as they started opening fire he just ran,” said Mendoza’s nephew, Alex Mendoza.
The 13-year-old was not injured.
At this point, police say it appears the shooter or shooters fired into the passenger’s side of the truck, striking both victims.
“Some witnesses say those shooters were inside a vehicle when they fired shots so it’s possibly a drive-by,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Insp. Scott Small. “They were last seen in a vehicle that was going south on the 3000 block Lawrence Street.”
Investigators are working to identify a motive for the violence, but family says this is a case of mistaken identity. They say the truck Mendoza was driving wasn’t hers, but a friend’s. The windows were tinted, most likely making it hard to see who was inside.
“You caught the wrong person. Give yourself up. Have some sympathy,” said friend Belinda Rivera.
Homicide is now investigating. They’re searching for surveillance video and asking anyone with information to call police.