Family Members Say Gang Bangers Are To Blame

INGLEWOOD ( — Authorities say a wheelchair-bound man was fatally shot after suspects vandalized his Inglewood home early Sunday morning.

Officers responding to a shots fired call found the victim in a driveway in the 900 block of S. Osage Avenue, a few blocks from his home.

Reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, Kara Finnstrom said the victim was shot once in the head and once in the back.

The man, now identified as 48-year-old Sergio Velez, was pronounced dead  at the scene after being examined by Los Angeles County Firefighters.

His tearful widow, speaking through a translator, made a plea for the killers to give themselves up. Elsy Velez said, “He was a really good person. He didn’t hurt nobody. He was disabled.”

The victim’s family told investigators Velez was out looking for suspects who had vandalized his residence.

Finnstrom said the couple, who lived with their sons and grandchildren, awoke to hear flower pots being thrown through windows.  Elsy said she was sleeping when flower pots came crashing through the windows “and things were landing all over their heads.”

The vandals also slashed their car tires and left hateful graffiti on the walls.

Relatives called the police. Apparently, one son and Sergio went outside in search of the vandals.

Finnstrom says Sergio was shot and killed three blocks away.

Son Arnoldo says he wish he could have talked his father out of leaving the apartment. “I wish I could have held him back and told him don’t go.”

The family says gangs are active in the area. In the past, Arnoldo says he told gang members to stay away and not to tag the apartments.

He believes they returned in an act of vengeance. And he has some survivor’s guilt. “He’s my father. And now I have to live with that for the rest of my life. What else can I do? Just think about it and go through it.”

Police have no suspects.

Anyone with additional information about the shooting incident is urged to call Inglewood Police at 310-412-5240.

You can also call the 24-hour anonymous hotline at 888-41-CRIME (888-412-7463).


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