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Verdugo Road Homicide: Victims Didn't Have Gang Ties

The aunt of Nicole Zuniga, 18, who was fatally shot in Glassell Park Monday, says neither she nor her boyfriend, who was also shot, belonged to gangs.

Nicole Zuniga, the 18-year-old woman who was killed by a single shot Monday night on Verdugo Road in Glassell Park, was "a very kind and loving girl not involved in gangs or anything like that," according to her aunt, who e-mailed Patch the accompanying two photos.

Zuniga succumbed to her gunshot injuries on the sidewalk in front of her home on 3232 Verdugo Rd. despite efforts by paramedics to revive her, according to the LAPD. Homicide detectives from the Northeast Community Station are investigating her murder, which may or may not be gang-related, according to the police.

Click here to read our previous updates about this incident.

Michael Cortez, 21, who was with Zuniga at the time, was also shot and rushed to USC Medical Center, where he was in critical condition, according to Sergeant Roberto Alaniz, the watch commander at the Northeast Community Station on Tuesday morning.

"Nicole was planning on attending college this year," her aunt wrote Patch in an e-mail Tuesday evening, adding that Cortez was her boyfriend. Garcia described him as a "tall, gentle-giant sweet kid who lived in the San Pasqual area [and] who was attending culinary school to be a chef."

Added Zuniga's aunt: "The shooter must have confused her bf for a gang member or something because those two kids were not gang members."

Homicide detectives, who worked all night Monday, could not be reached Tuesday. Patch will get in touch with them Wednesday.

MoJoMoon June 13, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I'm confused now. Is this the same aunt that first said the shooting definitely WAS gang-related and he was brain dead etc when she email Patch?
Silvia June 15, 2012 at 05:18 AM
He is a nice boy, quiet. He went to a private school and he was very respecful. Gang tides no way.may God comfort him and the family of his girlfriend.
Silvia June 15, 2012 at 05:57 PM
michael is gone, today i went to go visit him at th USC only to learn he had die.rest in peace michel
two. June 16, 2012 at 08:47 AM
michael was a good guy !!! & he was NOT gang related he just happend to be at the wrong place at the wrong time who ever her aunt is she NEED to stop writing people these lies ! Michael will be missed RESt IN PEACE
HLPSUCKS June 18, 2012 at 08:31 PM
GANG, no ,KREW yes.same shit .they knew what they were getting into.have u seen their facebook pages?it says it all there...they said they dont give a fuck and i kicked it with them before too we used to do 'things' together..they knew what its like to run the streets.everyone faces judgement day. Let them rest in peace now
irving g. August 08, 2012 at 11:57 PM
These kids need to get their head out of their butts and cut the gang mentality with the crues. If they act and dress the part, they will only attract the negative attention. Stick to the art, drop the bark. AND BE SAFE.
I.M. August 13, 2012 at 05:15 AM
everybody that's talking out of there but needs to stop because Nicole was my best friend and like a sister to me and i know what she was involved in and what she wasn't and her and Michael did not deserve this nobody does so if you don't know what happened mind your business! !!!!! Thanks!
Culturevator September 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM
"Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown"
J.B February 27, 2013 at 07:26 PM
LOVE YOU NICOLE
J.B February 27, 2013 at 07:34 PM
ITS FUNNY HOW THE MEDIA IS SO QUICK TO RECIEVE A STATEMENT FROM SOME ONE WHO CLAIMS TO BE A RELATIVE AND SENDS AND EMAIL BECAUSE SHE IS IN ANOTHER STATE AND HAD BEEN ABSENT FROM NICOLE'S LIFE FOR MANY YEARS. AND CHANGES HER STORY. AND DID NOT COME TO THE FUNERAL.

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