Police: Cook Gunned Down Over Long Wait Times

Racial slurs reportedly used before shooting

VAN NUYS (CBS) — Police released public surveillance images on Tuesday of two suspects in the shooting death of a cook and father of five who was gunned down at the Sherman Oaks restaurant where he worked.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports Raul Lopez was working one of his two jobs when the robbery occurred.

Lopez, 38, was fatally shot in the chest shortly after 11 p.m. last Friday night at Hoagies & Wings on Ventura Boulevard as he tried to ward off a group of five black men who were causing a disturbance.

Police said one of the customers apparently became angry with Lopez about how long it was taking for the food to be prepared, and some racial slurs were reportedly used.

“It was a random dispute that went tragically wrong,” said LAPD Detective James Nuttle.

Lopez’s wife, Guadalupe, and some of his children joined detectives assigned to the Van Nuys Station at a news conference Tuesday to plea for the public’s help in solving the killing.

“Please, I need help, I don’t know what to do,” she pleaded.

Lopez is believed to be the family’s sole provider. The couple have a 16-year-old son, a 7-year-old son and three girls younger than 6.

“He’s my only dad and I really care about him, but I can’t do nothing anymore,” daughter Melesio said.

The suspects — all described as black men in their 30s — fled in a Cadillac Escalade or other dark-colored SUV after the shooting.

Three of the suspects were described as large men about 6’4″ tall and 300 pounds or more.

Anyone with more information about who killed Lopez was urged to call detectives at (818) 374-0040.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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