Raul Lopez, Cook at 'Hoagies and Wings' in Sherman Oaks, Murdered for Trying to Kick Out Customers
Update: New surveillance video shows two suspects entering the sandwich joint, where they would allegedly spit racist comments at Hoagies and Wings' Latino staff.
A scuffle between Hoagies and Wings chef Raul Lopez and a group of reportedly "rowdy" customers turned ugly last Friday night when they shot Lopez, a Hollywood resident, in the chest. He was declared dead soon after at a nearby hospital.
Hoagies and Wings is located along a nice stretch of Ventura Boulevard -- one that was reportedly bustling with nightlife when Lopez was murdered around 11:10 p.m. According to NBC LA, "dozens of people saw the shooting..."
"... including children and teenagers."
That will certainly make the LAPD's manhunt easier. After gathering witness accounts, investigators are searching for five black men who fled the scene in a dark SUV -- possibly a Cadillac Escalade. The shooter himself is "a skinny, roughly 5-foot-6-inch black man in his 20s," Van Nuys police tell City News Service.
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One witness in particular (who wishes to stay anonymous so the perps don't come back and shoot him as well) says in an NBC LA video interview that he saw Lopez and the customers "fencing with chairs" before the shooting.
Police now believe the Hoagies and Wings employee was trying to shoo them from the restaurant.
Another witness turned out to be pretty high-profile. Alex Mandell, L.A. actor and son of Howie Mandell, Tweeted from the scene:
Someone just got shot at the intersection outside the bar I'm at in Sherman Oaks!— Alex Mandel (@AlexMandel) June 30, 2012
@karldotcom one of my friends was standing across the street from the shooting, he said it definitely wasn't a drive by..He saw the shooters— Alex Mandel (@AlexMandel) June 30, 2012
Lopez was identified by NBC LA as a beloved father to five children, who range in age from 2 years old to 15 years old.