Briana Soto in an undated photo courtesy her family via GoFundMe.

A 17-year-old Long Beach girl has died days after she was shot in the city’s Cambodia Town area, leaving police searching for the killer and a motive.

Friends and family members identified the girl as Briana Soto, a senior at Poly High School.

Briana was “very smart and loving, she has the best smile ever,” according to a fundraiser started by a relative to cover funeral and medical expenses.

According to police, Briana was near 11th Street and Lewis Avenue around 8:25 p.m. on March 26 when at least one person approached her and shot her for an unknown reason. Family members told CBS Los Angeles that Briana was walking home from work when the attack occurred.

Support facts not fear

News happens fast. In the midst of crime, disasters and other breaking news, the Long Beach Post has reporters and photographers who run to the scene to bring you reliable information. If you value this vital community resource, support it with a tax-deductible donation.

Briana was rushed to the hospital where she died on March 29, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Lourdes Soto, a relative who organized the fundraiser, said family members had been at Briana Soto’s side in the intensive care unit praying for a miracle until she passed.

Lourdes Soto said Briana Soto was “the best sister, friend, daughter and granddaughter,” and she asked for “prayers for the devastated family.”

The Long Beach Unified School District issued a statement sending condolences to the Soto family and saying counselors will be available on campus when students return from spring break.

“Long Beach Unified is deeply saddened to learn about the tragic passing of a member of the Poly High School community,” the statement said. “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn this loss.”

Police asked anyone with information about the crime to contact detectives Ethan Shear or Chasen Contreras at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips can be sent through