A man accused of murdering a 22-year-old In-N-Out employee in East Los Angeles during a street robbery was behind bars Monday awaiting arraignment, along with his alleged accomplice.
Abraham Caberea, 19, was charged last week with murder and second-degree robbery in the killing of Rene Alejandro Lupian, who was gunned down in the 900 block of South Concourse Avenue as he walked home from work around 10:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
Wayne Andrew Seare, 20, is facing one count each of second-degree robbery and accessory after the fact.
Both men are scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 16. Caberea is being held without bail and Seare's bail is set at $1.05 million.
They were arrested two days after sheriff's officials and members of Lupian's family held a news conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles to publicize a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.
"My little brother was amazing,'' Christina Lupian said at the Dec. 19 news conference. "He was my best friend, and he didn't deserve this. This can happen to anyone's brother, and I just ask please, please, please, just any information anyone has, to just please ... come forward.''
Sheriff's investigators say Lupian's attacker struck him in the head with what may have been the butt of a gun and then shot him twice before running off with his backpack.
Detectives said video surveillance from a nearby liquor store on Whittier Boulevard showed the driver of a white compact car watching Lupian closely as he put beer that he had purchased in his backpack.
A woman could be seen getting into the car just before it followed Lupian onto South Concourse Avenue, and a witness saw a white compact car leaving the scene, authorities said.
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A gold cross that the victim wore around his neck on a chain, an heirloom left to him by his grandmother, was found on the ground where he died.
Authorities believe the victim may have been fighting with the suspect to keep it in his possession.
Lupian was working at an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Pico Rivera and had applied to a trade school to pursue his dream of becoming an architect.
He studied literature at Antioch University and enjoyed writing poetry and music, according to Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who recommended the reward for information on the gunman.