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3 Arrests Made in Shooting of 7-Year-Old Girl

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Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist
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The stepmother of a 7-year-old girl who was shot in her South LA home Tuesday night has been arrested along with two others in connection with the shooting. The girl was home with her grandparents around 7:30 p.m. when bullets from the street flew into the house hitting her in the chest and arm.

The back story apparently goes like this, according to police: there was an on-going child custody dispute between the girls father and Toni Valentine, the 29-year-old stepmother. "On the day of shooting, Valentine and her new boyfriend Dante Quezada, 32 years of age, a known gang member, decided to commit a drive-by shooting at her ex-husband’s residence," police explained in a statement. They borrowed a white van from a friend, Felipe Carias and then the three, along with Valentine's 5-year-old daughter, drove to the ex-husband's home.

Not knowing that the ex wasn't home at the time, Quezada got out of the van and fired several rounds into the home intended for the father but instead hit the 7-year-daughter who is now in stable condition. Police arrested all three on attempted murder and are being held on half million bails each.