A 13-year-old runaway was killed by a stray gang bullet as she stood at a pay phone just minutes after calling her mother to say she wanted to come home.
The mother, Maria Macias, arrived at the phone to pick up her daughter just as the ambulance was pulling away.
“She was really scared about the neighborhood she was in,” Macias said Monday, fighting back tears. “I got there late.”
Wendy Macias died Sunday at a hospital.
Wendy left home Saturday evening after a fight with her parents, authorities said. She called police Sunday afternoon, and they put her temporarily into a children’s home, said Deputy Benita Nichol.
She left hours later, and called her mother from a nearby pay phone, Nichol said.
After speaking with her mother, Wendy called a friend. During that conversation, a gang member took a shot at two rivals on the street and hit Wendy instead, Nichol said.
Detectives were looking for an 18-year-old suspect, she said. His name was not released.
Wendy was an Explorer Scout candidate at the Police Department’s Newton Station.
“She wanted a better life, than … the gangs, the violence, the drugs,” said Sgt. Alexander Gomez. “And she wanted to get away - as far away from that as possible. So she came to us.”
“Unfortunately, the very thing that she wanted to get away from was the very thing that took her life,” he said.