Marcela Franco: CSUDH Victim of Santa Monica Shootings Embraced Toro Spirit


Marcela Franco

California State University, Dominguez Hills faculty, staff, students and alumni are mourning the loss of student Marcela Franco, who died on Sunday, June 9, from wounds sustained as a victim of a one-man shooting that took place in various locations in Santa Monica on Friday, June 7.  Six people were killed, including the gunman.

Marcela and her father, Santa Monica College groundskeeper Carlos Franco, were exiting a parking lot on the SMC campus Friday, after visiting the campus bookstore to purchase Marcela’s books for a summer class, when they were both shot. Her father died at the scene and Marcela was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries on Sunday.

In response to the tragic death of the 26-year-old, CSU Dominguez Hills is accepting donations to help support her family.

(Update June 21): Donations are being accepted through June 24, 2013, after which the donation portal will be removed.

“As a campus community, our thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are with the Franco family and all the victims and families affected by this senseless act of violence,” said CSU Dominguez Hills President Willie J. Hagan. “Finding the right words or actions to express the most heartfelt response to such unthinkable tragedy is not easy, but given Marcela’s direct ties to CSU Dominguez Hills, our hope is this gesture from the university community can in some way help her loved ones during this difficult time.”

Photo courtesy of CSUDH outreach officer Patricia N-Enyekwe Akudibobi

Photo courtesy of CSUDH outreach officer Patricia N-Enyekwe Akudinobi

Marcela was a senior at CSU Dominguez Hills majoring in psychology. She enrolled at the university in fall 2012 as a transfer student from West Los Angeles College, and quickly embraced the Toro Spirit. She was involved in a number of activities and events on campus, including the Campus Food Pantry Program, Welcome Week, and Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day. She also was a student member of the Campus Alcohol Awareness Coordinating Team, having become a certified trainer to help present workshops to students. In April she attended the CSU Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference and returned with new ideas to implement at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Passionate about psychology, she was a member of the campus chapter of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology and, according to those close to her, was looking forward to earning advanced degrees in the field to help individuals and her community.

Marcela Franco (far left) with students and CSUDH officials at the CSU Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference in April

Marcela Franco (far left) with students and CSUDH officials at the CSU Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference in April

Marcela was a CSUDH legacy student; her aunt and SMC Board of Trustee member Margaret Quiñones-Pérez is an alumna (Class of ‘84, B.A., mental health research methods).

Counseling staff and other resources are available in Student Health & Psychological Services, located in the Student Health Center, for those who want counseling or want to refer someone. Please contact the Center at 310-243-3818.

Donations to the Marcela Franco Memorial will be collected by the university and given to the family to aid them in their time of need.

To make a donation, please make checks payable to CSUDH Foundation/Marcela Franco Memorial, and mail to Marcela Franco Memorial, CSU Dominguez Hills Office of Development, 1000 E. Victoria St., Welch Hall A-425, Carson, CA 90747, or give online at, and click on “Marcela Franco Memorial.”

Donations are not tax deductible.

UPDATE June 12: Funeral services have been scheduled for Marcela and her father at St. Monica Catholic Church, 725 California Ave, Santa Monica, 90403. A rosary will be on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m., and mass will take place Wednesday, June 19 at 10:30 a.m.



  1. Emmett Brooks says:

    I will miss Marcela and her beautiful smile. My prayers go to her family and Cynthia Hernandez.

  2. Bradley Burkhalter says:

    Such a tragic loss. You will not be forgotten. Prayers go out to Franco family and loved ones.

  3. Patricia N-Enyekwe Akudinobi says:

    CSUDH has lost an exemplary Toro Spirited Student. Adios my friend. You will be missed Marcy. Yes, I remember, MARCY!

  4. Cynthia Hernandez says:

    That was such a beautiful memory…I thank the campus for all the wonderful support they have given to me and the Franco family. We love you guys! This is WHY CSUDH is my campus! 😀 I am one of her closest friends and anyone on campus who knew us can attest that we were always together…she will be missed dearly as well as her father.

  5. My thoughts and prayers are with Marcela’s family. She was truly an inspiration to other students and represented CSU Dominguez Hills in a positive way.

  6. Vicky Herrera says:

    May she rest in peace… prayers go out to her family and loved ones <3

  7. Such a beautiful picture of her–it shows her radiant light.

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