LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The armed robbery suspect who stabbed and shot a convenience store owner in Long Beach Monday night remains at large.

Police responded to an unknown trouble call at 7:50 p.m. at a mini-market in the 1100 block of East Seventh Street.

Officers on the scene found the owner, Felix Avelar, with a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

The victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

The suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Neighborhood Watch Capt. Nathan Deluca was nearby when the crime occurred.

“We heard what sounded like firecrackers. It turned out to be shots. When I came out, he was bleeding and the ambulance was picking him up. It was a very sad moment,” he said.

Avelar’s son, Sergio, said the father of 10 has owned the store for the past six years.

Sergio told KCAL9’s Randy Paige that his father nearly died twice on Tuesday. Doctors said Avelar will be taken into surgery as soon as he’s strong enough.

“He held my hand tight when I was in the emergency room with him. He’s holding on. He heard my voice when I tried to get his attention. He opened his eyes widely. I told him everything is gonna be all right and we’re gonna get through this. And he held my hand tight, so he’s gonna make it through this,” Sergio said.

Residents described Avelar as a man who deeply cared about everyone.

“He’s a great man. He looks out for people in his community. He knows a lot of us around here we don’t have money, so you know, he works with us,” said Sandie Holt, who added that there are a lot of shootings in the area.


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