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Oakland road rage incident leaves mother of 4 dead

Perla Avina, 30, was shot in the face when another car pulled up next to her, spraying bullets, in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday afternoon.

By Gabrielle Levy

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Police are searching for information related to the apparent road-rage killing of an Oakland woman as she sat in the passenger seat of her car.

Perla Avina Anaya Lopez, 30, was shot in the face while riding with her husband, Luis Lopez Gallegos, just a few blocks from their home on Sunday. The couple, who have four children, were on their way back from the grocery store.

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Police say a confrontation occurred on 98th Avenue around noon. Another car pulled up alongside the Toyota Camry and fired multiple shots, striking Avina. Gallegos sped home and called for help, but Avina died in their driveway.

"He was a coward with a gun," Gallegos, 30, said Monday. "A young guy with a gun who doesn't care about life."

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"If they know the person who did this, please turn him in. Turn him into the police, please, please, help us," Herlinda Avina, the victim's mother, begged.

A neighbor, Dwayne Jackson, was standing outside when Gallegos pulled up with his injured wife.

"He pulled up really abrupt, halfway in the driveway and called to me," Jackson said. "He said, 'D, call 911. My wife's been shot.' We pulled her out of the car and I started giving her CPR, but I pretty much knew she was gone."

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Gallegos, an auto mechanic, and Avina, a medical clerk, were high school sweethearts. They have a son, 14, and three daughters, 1, 4 and 8.

Police and CrimeStoppers of Oakland are offering a $30,000 reward to information leading to the arrest of Avina's shooter. Those with information should call the police at (510) 238-3821 or CrimeStoppers at (510) 777-8572.

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