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The family of a 28-year-old woman who was fatally shot in Compton this weekend is asking authorities to investigate her death as a possible hate crime amid a recent rise in violent attacks targeting Asian Americans.
The victim, identified by her family as Sia Marie Xiong, was killed just before 6 a.m. Saturday at an apartment complex on the 1600 block of East Kay Street, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies responded to a report of a gunshot victim and found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound to her lower torso, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
Xiong was taken to a local hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
It’s unclear who shot her or what led to the gunfire. Detectives said a suspect or a motive have not yet been identified.
Xiong’s family and supporters held a press conference Sunday afternoon to ask the Sheriff’s Department to conduct a thorough investigation and to consider all possible motives, including race.
“No one can deny the dramatic increase in Asian women being murdered across the country,” said Najee Ali, a prominent South L.A. activist.
Family members said Xiong leaves behind a 3-year-old son and a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to help with his care.
Akeisa Lowe, Xiong’s aunt, described her niece as someone who was a “sweet” and loving person.
“She was a free-spirited person with a whole lot of love and compassion,” Lowe said. “It’s really hard for me to understand for somebody to hate her so bad they want to kill her.”
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