Los Angeles

Store Owner, Robbery Suspect Killed in Shootout at South LA Market

A store owner defending his employee and a suspected robber were killed during an exchange of gunfire at a South Los Angeles market Sunday night, police said.

The shootout happened about 8 p.m. inside Martinez Market at 6565 South Normandie Ave., in the Harvard Park area, said Det. Nathan Kouri of the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Station.

The owner armed himself when his employees was confronted by multiple suspects with their hoodies over their heads, Kouri said.

A shootout took place and the clerk was fatally struck. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Kouri said.

The owner was identified by the coroner as 61-year-old Carlos Martinez of Los Angeles.

"He was a pretty nice person," said customer Christian Saavedra. "He never have problems with nobody."

A trail of blood was found outside the store, halfway down the block. Police confirmed one of the suspects had been wounded in the gunfire and died at California Hospital Medical Center about 9:10 p.m. He was identified only as an 18-year-old resident of South Los Angeles.

Customers were inside the store at the time, but none have come forward to say what they witnessed," Kouri said.

A search warrant was served on the home of a man police believed to be the getaway driver. A second person was detained for questioning.

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