LYNWOOD ( — The fatal shooting of a 65-year-old father was under investigation Monday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

The shooting was reported around 12:30 a.m. at La Playita taco shop in the 11020 block of South Atlantic Avenue in Lynwood.

According to detectives, the shop’s owner, Jose Padilla, was confronted “by three armed, black males when he was shot.”

They then fled in a vehicle.

Padilla was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

KCAL9’s Art Barron reports Padilla owned the restaurant for 18 year and purchased another in Compton six months ago.

Barron reports he had closed the Compton location about 10 p.m. Sunday and then drove to the Lynwood location. Family members say Padilla’s two sons-in-law were working inside the restaurant with two others when three men entered through the back door, and he was shot.

Devvion Brown, who lives nearby, recalled hearing several popping sounds, and then then a wailing ambulance.

“We thought that it was fireworks. The kids pop fireworks over here all of the time. We didn’t think anything of it until we heard the ambulance, and we came outside and saw it,” he said.

Friends and family described Padilla as hard worker and a loving father of six who put in long days with little sleep.

His daughter, Blanca Padilla, said her father was married for 40 years, and the family is looking for justice.

“He was my rock, my everything,” she said. “My mom’s completely distraught. She said she lost her other half.”

Customers and friends left cards, candles and flowers Monday to pay their condolences outside the Lynwood eatery, where Barron reports pieces of Padilla’s handgun remained.

Blanca Padilla believes her father may have attempted to reach for it before he was shot.

“He wasn’t going down without a fight,” she said.

Family members say the shooting was caught on a security camera inside the restaurant and footage has been turned over to investigators. They hope it will lead them to the men suspected in the shooting.

“I just ask whoever has any information please, please come forward and help get these guys. These monsters,” Blanca Padilla said.

(©2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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