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Shooting victim’s family seeks aid

Teenage girl survived shotgun blast last month, but her mother struggles to pay for food, gas and girl’s pain medication.

August 21, 2008|By Joseph Serna

The mother of the 15-year-old girl shot last month outside a home in Costa Mesa’s Shalimar neighborhood said the attack has turned her family’s situation from bad to worse — so much, in fact, that they are now asking the public for help.

Denise, the victim’s mother, who asked that her family’s last name not be revealed for safety reasons, said the family needs money for the most basic of necessities including food, gas and her daughter’s pain medication, which isn’t covered by insurance.

Just after 6 p.m. July 28, a shotgun-wielding assailant confronted a group of teenagers in the 700 block of Shalimar Drive and fired once, seriously wounding Denise’s daughter, Angelique, on her right side.

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Angelique and neighbors said she is not affiliated with gangs and was an innocent victim.

Denise said the attack has become another obstacle in her efforts as a single mother to provide for her three daughters and one son since she lost her job in March. She and her husband were convicted on felony drug charges in April. Denise’s husband was sentenced to two years in prison; she was released in July and said she got caught up in his legal problems.

“For me, as a mom, it’s just an embarrassing thing that I hope to be able to put behind me as soon as possible,” Denise said. “In the process, our family has become closer and stronger than we have ever been.”

Six weeks later, countless applications for positions similar to her old job as a senior assistant to an accounting executive and for openings at chain-office supply stores have gone unanswered.

“I literally have no gas. I don’t even have quarters for the laundry,” Denise said. “Some people have never gone through anything like this. It’s not as easy as people think. When you have parents with money, or you have some money or people to back you up, it’s easier.”

Denise and her kids are staying with family but will soon have to find somewhere else to live, she said.

The task seems almost impossible because she has to apply for jobs, get assistance from the Costa Mesa-based charity Share Our Selves and redress Angelique’s wounds twice a day, she said.

A friend who works with a butcher was able to give her some meat, which turned into a full meal when she used vegetables and rice handed out at Share Our Selves.

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