LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A laundromat manager was found bound and fatally shot Saturday inside the South Los Angeles business, authorities said.
Paramedics were dispatched at 12:21 a.m. to the 7300 block of South Figueroa Street on a report of a person down, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
According to sources at the scene, the discovery of the body was made by an employee who had apparently lived at the business.
The LAPD later confirmed the victim was an employee-manager of the laundromat, Darren Clark.
CBS2’s Greg Mills reported from the scene Saturday where he said many friends and customers left heartfelt tributes to Clark.
The victim, 51, worked at the laundromat for 20 years.
Everyone who knew the victim called him a terrific guy.
“He was a nice person. Kept you laughing,” said Margaret Jones.
“”I was blown out of my mind. I couldn’t believe it,” said Innes Brown.
Laundromat owner Don Hasuike says he’s been at this location 46 years and has been held up a few times.
“You wouldn’t expect something like this,” he said, “to kill a person, it’s terrible.”
Clark worked every shift.
Hasuike said Clark was likely killed around 10 p.m., closing time.
The owner also told Mills his security video system is broken. He believed Clark was killed in an arm robbery.
“I heard, they broke into the ATM machine and they attempted to get into the change machine,” Hasuike said.
“Whoever did it,” said Brown, “I hope they catch their butt. Cause that was wrong. There’s nothing in there of value.”
Saturday evening, friends and family held an emotional vigil outside the laundromat.
Jennifer Kastner was there and watched as Clark’s 21-year-old daughter struggled to write a goodbye note to her father.
Customers and friends alike told Kastner how loved Clark was in the neighborhood.
“He never hurt, or wanted to hurt anybody,” said one woman.
“He walked the community like he owned it,” said one man, “and everybody respected him.”
“Whenever the machines were out of change or anything, he would take change out his pocket and help us. He was a really nice guy,” said customer Jade Garcia.
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