Suspect named in South LA 99 Cent store clerk murder

The Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Homicide Division has named 31-year-old Eric Atkinson as the suspect in the robbery and murder of discount store clerk  Martha Sanchez, according to a press release issued by Ninth District Councilman Curren Price’s office.

Sanchez was working as a store clerk at a local Happy Bargain 99 Cents Store on the 7400 block of South Broadway around at 8:50 p.m. on Sept.17 when the robbery and shooting happened.

Photo credit: Sinduja Rangarajan

SEE ALSO: South LA neighborhood in the aftermath of the Martha Sanchez shooting

According to the statement, LAPD officials intend to arrest and charge Atkinson on one count of murder with special circumstances for the murder of Sanchez.  That would make Atkinson eligible for the death penality.

Atkinson, who lives within a quarter mile of the crime scene, was arrested on a narcotics charge on Oct.9 and has remained in custody since, the press release said.

The LA City Council, on Oct.1, adopted a motion presented by Councilman Price to award $50,000 to anyone who comes forth with information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for the murder.

“Mrs. Sanchez is another innocent victim of a senseless violent act,” Councilman Price said. “I am hopeful this case will come to an end so the family can have closure.”

Police officials organized a news conference on Oct.23 and released video surveillance footage of the suspect walking in and leaving the discount store.  They asked for the public’s help.

“We attribute the calls from the community and the City offering a reward in leading to his arrest,” Crosson said. “Some callers were motivated by the reward and others by the victim’s murder.  The family is very grateful to the City and the LAPD in helping to apprehend this suspect.”




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