Glassell Park (CBSLA) – Family, friends, and colleagues of 36-year-old Miguel Penaloza, shot and killed last month by a shoplifter at a Glassell Park Rite Aid where he worked, are mourning.
A vigil was held Wednesday evening by friends and family to remember Penaloza, who was killed on July 14 after he had previous safety concerns while on the job.READ MORE: Evacuations Ordered As University Fire Burns In San Bernardino
Penaloza had given his two-week notice and was working his last shift at the store on the night of the incident.
Police said the two suspects were captured on video. They walked into the Rite Aid on Eagle Rock Boulevard and allegedly grabbed two cases of beer and tried to leave without paying.
That was when Penaloza confronted them. Investigators said he struggled with the shoplifters briefly before being shot and killed.
“They should’ve had someone there,” Penaloza’s sister told CBSLA. “They should’ve had someone there since the beginning. They have security guys at the $.99 Store. They should’ve had one there. They should’ve had a security guy from the morning to the night, and there were only two people working there.”
A vigil was also held on July 18 for Penaloza.READ MORE: Burbank Airport Operations Interrupted After Unauthorized Person Enters Airfield Area
Friends say Penaloza did not feel safe, which is why he had given his notice at the store.
The accused gunman has been arrested by police and is scheduled to be arraigned on August 26.on one charge of murder and one charge of robbery. The other man involved is still at large, police said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by family and friends of Penaloza to help with the cost of funeral services.
Rite Aid released a statement saying:
We respect the Penaloza family’s grieving process and understand that it may be difficult to see the store reopened. It was not a decision we made lightly. During the time the store was closed, we heard from members of the local community asking for the store to be reopened, as they rely on the Glassell Park location for their health care needs.
After keeping the store closed for a period of time to aid the police investigation and review our security measures, we felt a duty to the community, as a provider of vital health services like vaccinations and prescriptions, to reopen the Glassell Park location.MORE NEWS: LAUSD Hosts COVID Vaccine Clinics Ahead Of Deadline For Employees
The store reopened with a stationed security guard as well as an enhanced security camera system. Similar enhancements have also been made in other area stores out of an abundance of caution.