Gerardo Martinez loved being a dad. At 20 years old, he was already a father to two young girls. The morning he died, those girls were sound asleep.
"He was a family guy, he loved his family more than anyone else," said Dania Gomez, the girls' mother and Martinez' fiancé. "His daughters were everything to him, everything."
Gomez said they had plans to build their family together, but on April 27, 2017, those plans took a deadly turn.
Los Angeles Police Department detective Gabe Ruiz said Martinez had an early morning job to get to in San Pedro. Just before he left, he took a walk to a liquor store to grab some snacks. At the intersection of Central Avenue and 88th Place, surveillance video caught what appears to be a red Nissan Sentra make a left turn onto 88th, when a passenger gets out with a gun.
"Our unknown suspect exits the vehicle and approaches our victim as he's walking in the middle of the street," Ruiz said.
The video clearly shows multiple shots being fired as Martinez tries to shield himself from the shooter. He turns to the side and ultimately falls face first onto the pavement. But he's alive when paramedics arrive.
"He's still alive, he's coherent, he's talking to them, providing information about his injuries but unfortunately he didn't have information about the shooter," Ruiz said.
A 24-hour laundromat at the corner caught the shooting on camera but no one inside saw it happen. It wasn't until after they heard the shots, and after they had ducked for cover, did anyone call 911.
"These things keep going on, happening every day here," Gomez said. She's tired of what she's seen on South LA streets.
"Nobody has a right to take their life away from somebody else, just like that," she said, adding that she's frustrated that so many of these cases go unsolved because so few people are willing to come forward.
"That's why all these things happen, that's why people are out there like that. And there's many innocent people dying."
For Gomez, now a single mom, the pain of loss is evident.
"It's hard to keep going without a loved one," she said. "Just remembering him, in those last minutes, fighting for his life because he didn't want to leave us."
LAPD has issued a $50,000 reward for information leading to the shooters. You can remain anonymous and still get the cash reward by calling detectives at 323-786-5113.