Officials were investigating a fatal shooting Tuesday morning after a gunman shot and killed a store owner on the sidewalk in front of his Arleta shop. Police asked for the public's help capturing the perpetrator. Annette Arreola reports from Arleta for NBC4’s Today in LA at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 2013.
Police searched Tuesday for a gunman who killed a wireless phone store owner as he was closing his shop in Arleta on Monday night.
Witnesses told police a heavy-set Latino man in his 30s with a shaved head and wearing a white shirt, confronted the 34-year-old owner on the sidewalk in front of the store before fatally shooting him.
Several people called 911 to report the shooting, and a bystander flagged a passing fire truck to help the man who was shot.
Firefighters found him lying on the sidewalk suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, said Lt. Paul Vernon, the commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department's Mission Station.
"It appeared he was closing the business when the confrontation that led to his death occurred," Vernon said in a press release.
A sign identified the store as NH Wireless Shop.
Video from the scene showed the victim’s body sprawled across the sidewalk and partially covered by a plastic white sheet with a laptop under his right foot.
The victim’s wife arrived later and told investigators her husband owned the store since February, Vernon said.
"Right now, this appears to be a robbery, but we'll have to look deeper to know for sure," Vernon said. “What we can count on, though, is people talk, and we need anyone with information to step up so we can solve this for this man's wife."
The gunman was last seen running south on Woodman "for quite a distance," Vernon said, adding that several spent cartridges were recovered at the scene.
In a similar case, police in May found the body of a wireless accessories store owner outside his Van Nuys shop with a gunshot wound to the head. No arrests have been made in that case and police said they didn't know if the cases were related.
Anyone with information about the Arleta slaying was urged to contact Detective Efren Gutierrez of the Mission Station's Homicide Unit at (818) 838-9948. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.