Uncle Stunned Over Nephew's Slaying

Police had no known witnesses and were urging anyone with information to come forward

As police searched Saturday for a gunman responsible for killing a 25-year-old man as he sat in his car on the Westside of Los Angeles, family members were shocked.

They don't understand why someone would kill Francisco Ayala, an innocent man, who had few friends and worked two restaurant jobs to make ends meet. They think he was confused for someone else.

“He was a great guy, very quiet, very shy," said his uncle, Gumar Ayala. “We never thought this would happen to us.”

The drama began about 12:30 Saturday morning in the neighborhood of Del Rey when someone walked up to a car and fired numerous shots before taking off, said Lt. John Radtke, of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Ayala tried to drive away, but he hit several cars before dying behind the wheel near Braddock Drive and Berryman Avenue in Del Rey.

Police are trying to figure out a motive. They don’t believe the victim was in a gang.

Andrew Nosrati said he heard up to six shots and called 911.

“Sounded like a car screeching,” he said. “The engine kept running. The victim’s foot was still stuck on the gas.”

Ayala moved from Mexico six years ago in pursuit of the American Dream, his uncle said. He worked at a Taco Bell and another restaurant to make ends meet.

Anyone with information should call the LAPD West Bureau at 213-382-9470.

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