Mother seeks answers after teenage daughter shot in head at strip mall

Gabriela Aldana, 17, was not intended target, police say

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida family is asking for the public's help in finding the person who fatally shot a 17-year-old girl last week at a Miami-Dade County strip mall.

Gabriela Aldana's mother was overcome with grief Friday as she continues searching for answers about who would have killed her daughter and why.

"If someone saw anything, please, follow your heart. Remember how Gabriela was, so that there's justice," Susana Martinez-Gispert said in Spanish.

Aldana was described by loved ones as beautiful inside and out, and someone who was full of life.

She was killed on May 24 outside the Hookah Palace in the 1800 block of Southwest 26th Street.

Police said shots were fired from a car around 2 a.m. and Aldana was shot in the head.

"She was not the target. We are trying to search for a black Mercedes-Benz," Detective Jessica Alvarez said. 

The Mercedes is described as a four-door sedan with black tinted windows.

Surveillance cameras and statements from those who witnessed the shooting are proving to be crucial in cracking the case.

"There were probably maybe about 30 to 40 people that were in and out of the parking lot," Alvarez said. 

Dozens of people were there at the time of the drive-by, but no one else was injured. 

Aldana's mother is now left without a daughter and seeking answers as to what happened and how it escalated to the level that it did.

"I loved her very, very much. She was my life," Martinez-Gispert said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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