Actor Merlin Santana Killed in Shooting in Los Angeles While Sitting in Parked Car

AP Wire Service

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Merlin Santana, a television and film actor who appeared in this year’s Eddie Murphy movie “Showtime,” was shot to death while sitting in a parked car, authorities said Sunday.

Santana, 26, was killed early Saturday in South Los Angeles, police spokeswoman Lucy Diaz said.

He was sitting in the passenger seat shortly after 2:30 a.m. when at least one person approached the car and fired, Lt. Clay Farrell said.

The driver escaped injury, drove off and flagged down police. Paramedics responded but Santana was pronounced dead at the scene, Farrell said.

No arrests were immediately made and investigators had not determined a motive for the attack.

The New York-born Santana had a recurring role on “The Steve Harvey Show,” playing Romeo Santana. The role won him nominations for NAACP Image Awards and ALMA Awards, which honor Hispanic performers.

One of his earliest roles was as Stanley, the faithful admirer of Rudy Huxtable on the hit series “The Cosby Show.”

He also had guest appearances on several television shows, including “Major Dad,” “Moesha” and “Sister, Sister.”

He later joined the casts of “Getting By” and the short-lived James Earl Jones drama “Under One Roof.”