‘Briana Didn’t Deserve This:’ Teen’s Family Searches for Justice after Her Murder

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY -- Just moments before she would have had a meal with loved ones, 18-year-old Briana Ballesteros was gunned down in a Stockton neighborhood.

Through a translator and tears, Yolanda Inunza described her eldest daughter.

"Si, she’s very happy. She liked to study a lot," Inunza told FOX40.

Relatives say if Briana had not been murdered she had hopes of becoming a cosmetologist.

San Joaquin County Sheriff's investigators say last September Ballesteros was gunned down while in her mother's car on Gilchrist Avenue. A makeshift memorial stands where she took her last breath.

Her mother says she had been waiting for her boyfriend. The two were on their way back to Inunza to have a meal.

"Si, yes, they were a very united family," Inunza said. "Everyday at 3 o’clock they would all sit down to eat together."

Investigators say they do not believe the 18-year-old was the intended target.

"I couldn’t believe it," said family friend Aidee Ramirez. "It felt like a dream, like it’s not true until today. I can’t believe she’s gone."

Loved ones say her death has ripped them apart.

"It’s very hard for her every day not to hear her daughter’s voice," Inunza told FOX40 through a translator.

Her mother says her only other daughter is devastated.

"She stays in her room a lot, having a hard time going to school," Inunza said.

Relatives say they want the gunman caught but they don't want the death penalty for the killer. They just want answers.

"Because Briana didn’t deserve this. She didn’t. So she doesn’t want the person who murdered her daughter to feel what she’s feeling," Ramirez said.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in this case.


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