LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Mourners gathered outside a South Los Angeles market Monday to remember the owner killed during a robbery over the weekend.
Two armed men robbed the Martinez Market at 6565 South Normandie Avenue shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday.
In the process, Carlos Martinez, 61, got into a gun battle with the robbers and was killed, police said.
A young woman told us her friend was working the cash register that night when two armed men wearing masks demanded money while Martinez was in the back of the store.
She said she gave the robbers all the money, but they didn’t believe her so they started to drag her out the front door.
That was when Martinez shot at the men, hitting one of them. That suspect fired back and hit Martinez multiple times.
Security video from across the street showed two men stumbling out of the market. The one in the white shirt, who was hit, fell to the ground before running away.
“About 40 minutes later, there was a male who was dropped off at a local hospital with gunshot wounds, and he ended up dying from the gunshot wounds. We believe that was the suspect that was in here with the firearm,” Cmdr. Phillip Tingirides of the LAPD said.
Police said the suspect, who was killed, was a gang member. They arrested a second suspect and was looking for a third.
Customers described Martinez as a good person, who was kind and generous.
“I’ve been going to the store. I would see him every week. So it was really hard for me to accept this,” Thalia Camargo said. “He didn’t deserve this, whatever happened to him.”
“When does it stop? When is enough enough? We lost a very good man,” Leeland Willis said. “And because of somebody else’s ignorance and stupidity, we now lost somebody that was great for this neighborhood.”
CBS2’s Dave Lopez reported the victim migrated to the United States from El Salvador 10 years ago. Five years ago, he opened up his business.
He was previously robbed twice and shot once, prompting him to buy a gun.