COMPTON ( — An argument over stolen money led to a hit-and-run crash that killed a 31-year-old Long Beach man, authorities said Tuesday.

The hit-and-run was reported just before 11 p.m. Monday in the area of Cypress and Crane streets in Compton, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Kelvin Moody said.

The victim, identified as Mario Melbourne Jr. by his father, was working at a new security job at the location, and friends had come to visit him. The suspect, who Melbourne’s father said was also a friend, drove up to the group, got out of his car and an argument erupted into a fist fight, authorities said.

The suspect got back into his car and began to drive off, but then made a U-turn and hit Melbourne, Moody said. Melbourne’s girlfriend and brother had to jump out of the way of the car.

Melbourne was pronounced dead at the scene.

Aimee Priddy, the mother of Melbourne’s son, tearfully described him as a “people person” who was always helpful.

“You took away somebody’s father, somebody’s life,” she said.

Friends of Melbourne said the argument was about money stolen from him.

The suspect’s car was described as a gray BMW 3-series sedan, which was last seen going eastbound on Cypress Street.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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