Thirty-eight-year-old Raul Lopez, a beloved father of five and chef at Hoagies and Wings in Sherman Oaks, got into a deadly altercation last Friday night:
After shooing a group of five young men out of the restaurant, one of them delivered a fatal bullet to his chest.
What could have possibly angered the shooter to the point of killing Lopez? LAPD officials are shedding more light on the moments leading up to the murder:
On June 29, 2012, around 11 p.m., Lopez was working inside his place of business in the 15500 block of Ventura Boulevard. The suspect was inside the business along with four other males. An argument ensued between one of the men and Lopez. As the argument escalated, Lopez picked up a chair and was successful in moving the five men out of the location.
Once the men were outside, Lopez put down the chair, looked up and saw the suspect remove a handgun from his clothing. The suspect pointed the handgun and fired striking Lopez in the torso.
Investigators have also released a full list of suspect descriptions. They have not specified, however, which of the following men they believe to be the shooter.
#1 Male, Black, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, athletic build, in his early 30's
#2 Male, Black 6 feet 2 inches tall, 300 pounds, long dread locks in pony tail, 30-35
#3 Male, Black, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 350 pounds, shaved head, gold teeth, late 30's
#4 Male, Black, 6 feet 5 inches tall, 350-400 pounds, shoulder length hair, mid 30's
#5 Male, Black, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 300-350 pounds, mid 30's
And finally, here is some surveillance footage from the moment suspects No. 1 and No. 2 walked into the sandwich joint. They're actually dressed pretty nicely, and — as cops have been saying — appear to have the build of football players.
How sickening to know that in a matter of minutes, these guys will (allegedly) be luring a young father to his death on the sidewalk:
In the video, we hear one or two Hoagies and Wings employees conversing in the background in Spanish.
This is key. Because, according to the Los Angeles Times, “Lopez intervened after the group started yelling racial slurs at employees, which in turn prompted other customers to leave.”
Homicide detectives tell the Times that the five alleged aggressors were mad because their food was taking too long — at which point they apparently turned to insulting the shop's Latino staff.
That's when Lopez, attempting to mitigate, tried to shoo the men out of the restaurant with a chair. Once they were outside, though, as the new LAPD report reads, “Lopez put down the chair, looked up and saw the suspect remove a handgun from his clothing.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, LAPD Detective James Nuttall said of the victim: “He's just out doing an honest day's work, trying to do the right thing, escorting them from the restaurant to defuse the situation, and puts himself in harm's way.” And the victim's eldest son added: “He was a very responsible man. He loved his family.”