The father of a 30-year-old woman from Morro Bay who was fatally shot in Hollywood on Sunday night said his daughter was the “happiest she has ever been” leading up to her mysterious death.
Carrie Jean Melvin and her boyfriend were walking through their Hollywood neighborhood along McCadden Place near Sunset Boulevard on their way to get food about 10 p.m. when someone walked up behind them, aimed a shotgun at Melvin’s head and pulled the trigger, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective said investigators were still trying to determine why the suspect shot Melvin and not other people who were on the street at the time. Her boyfriend was unharmed, police said.
There was no initial evidence suggesting the shooting was part of a botched robbery, Detective John Skaggs said. And there was no conversation between the couple and the gunman before he opened fire.
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“We just don’t know,” Skaggs said. “On the one hand, she didn’t have any known enemies. On the other hand, it looks like it was directed toward her. … We’re looking at all angles.”
Melvin had majored in film and literature at UC Santa Cruz. She was pursuing several projects, according to her father, Bernie Melvin.
Those included freelance video editing and a radio program with her boyfriend about the city of Los Angeles; she also had written a screenplay.
To make ends meet since moving to Los Angeles a few years ago, she also worked as a waitress and a bartender. She also was a craftswoman and sold some of her work as a side venture.
“She loved L.A. and she loved Hollywood,” Bernie Melvin said. “It was just like the Randy Newman song. That was her home. She was a smart, lovely, artistic, literary woman who was simply a joy.”
Melvin said his focus right now is not on the “why” of what happened to his daughter — but honoring her memory and staying supportive of other family members.
“I have an extremely loving wife, Sue, and we’re a close family,” Melvin said. “We’re going to drive up to spend some time with her brother, Ryan, who lives in Berkeley.”
Melvin said he was a former city planner in Los Angeles and knows the city can be dangerous — which his daughter was well aware of also.
He said she had taken kickboxing training in Los Angeles, which he learned of since her death.
“I’m extremely concerned about gun violence in general,” Melvin said. “But right now, I have to honor my daughter.”
She worked her way through UC Santa Cruz as a waitress before moving to Los Angeles.
“Her mom and I always put our kids first,” Melvin said. “We did everything we could to help her make her way. Kids aren’t always easy. Watching her the past 10 years, it was a complete joy. You knew this person was going to do something great. You didn’t know what.”
Bernie Melvin said his “daughter loved everybody and everybody loved her.”
Melvin said he’s in the planning stages to hold memorial services in Hollywood and Morro Bay, possibly at the Morro Bay Veterans Hall, but details haven’t yet been worked out.
“I just want to say how grateful and thankful we are to all the support we’ve gotten,” Melvin said. “If we accepted all of the meals we’ve been offered, we could open a restaurant. So many people who knew her here are just as broken up as we are. And they want to do something, but sometimes you just can’t do anything.”