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Ena Aguilera places flowers and lights two candles in honor of her slain friend Friday on Hooker Road in Alton Park. "She used to call me her Angel," Aguilera said while sobbing under her breath.

Ena Aguilera pulled up to her friend's house around 10:30 a.m. Friday, threw the car in park and leapt out of the driver's seat, leaving the keys in the ignition and the door wide open, car chiming.

"Did they confirm it?" she asked a small group of people standing outside the yellow crime-scene tape at 4011 Hooker Road.

"Is she dead?"

She's dead, the group told her.

Aguilera's knees buckled. She crumpled against the yard's chain-link fence, bent her head and sobbed.

Her friend, 33-year-old Angel Evans, was stabbed to death around 2 a.m. Friday in her home in the Alton Park area.

For Angel's mother, the October death is even more staggering.

Twenty-two years ago, Angels' brother also was slain — gunned down on Halloween night in Pasadena, Calif., where their mother, Katrina Evans, still lives.

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Angel Evans

"Right now, I'm going through a lot," Katrina Evans said slowly when reached by phone on Friday. "I am feeling really, really not together."

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In 1993, 13-year-old Edgar Evans and his two friends, 14-year-olds Stephen Coats and Reggie Crawford, were trick-or-treating with a group of boys in Pasadena when three men jumped from some bushes and opened fire. The men had mistaken the children for rival gang members, according to several articles written in the the Los Angeles Times between 1993 and 1996.

The high-profile case transformed the city of Pasadena and changed the way the city approached Halloween and gang violence. The city launched a municipal Halloween party to keep kids off the street. The three men were convicted and sentenced to death in 1996. They have not been executed. Capital punishment has been ruled unconstitutional in California.

Katrina Evans said on Friday that her daughter was "lovely," but declined to speak further about her death.

Police responded to the home on Hooker Road at 1:54 a.m. Friday after 24-year-old Gerald Nelson called 911. When officers arrived, Nelson was outside the home with stab wounds. Evans was inside, dead.

Nelson's injuries were not life-threatening and he was taken to a local hospital for treatment. On Friday afternoon, police detained Nelson at the hospital for questioning and Chief Fred Fletcher said he is the primary suspect in Evans' death. He had not been charged as of early Friday night.

Police believe Evans and Nelson "were known to each other," Fletcher said, but he could not say what the nature of their relationship was or what could have motivated the attack.

There was no sign of forced entry at the home and investigators do not believe the attack was gang-related. Police would not say how many times Evans and Nelson were stabbed or what evidence led police to suspect Nelson.

Residents on the street said Evans was friendly, and they often saw her walking her dog.

"She loved that dog," Aguilera said. "She didn't have kids, but that dog was her baby."

She said Evans was outgoing, friendly and loved to go out and dance. She could have a bad temper and the two friends sometimes fought, but they always made up later, Aguilera added. She said Evans sometimes hung out with a rough crowd.

"The kind of friends she had — you know," Aguilera said. "But if I ever said, 'You need to change,' she'd say, "I'm grown; I know what to do.'"

She added that Evans tried to stay out of trouble.

Sometimes, she'd mention that her brother had been murdered, Aguilera said, but she didn't like to talk about it.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas.

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