Aunt Of Three Girls Killed In Long Beach Fire Shot Near Vigil

The aunt of three young girls killed in a fire in a converted garage was one of two people shot Sunday night on the same block as the fire and as relatives were collecting money for the girls' burial nearby, authorities said.

The aunt was shot in the leg and a man was shot in the torso.

Both were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, said Officer Jackie Bezart of the Long Beach Police Department.

Their names were not immediately released, and no suspects had been arrested, Bezart said.

Police did not believe the aunt was targeted, Bezart said.

Six-year-old Stephanie Aviles and 10-year-old Jasmine Aviles died at a hospital Friday after an early-morning fire in a garage that had been illegally converted into a two-room apartment.

Their sister, 7-year-old Jocelin Aviles, died Saturday.

Investigators suspected the fire was started by a portable heater plugged into an overloaded power strip.

The girls were being watched by another aunt, 17-year-old aunt Nancy Dearmas, while their mother was at work.

Dearmas fled the burning home for help and then returned but the flames kept her from entering.

She was not injured.

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