Patient Killed Outside Dialysis Clinic

Coping with kidney and other health issues, Ray Garcia had been going to a dialysis center three times a week, his friends said.

But early Friday morning, he did not make it inside. After pulling into the parking lot and finding a spot right in front, he was shot to death.

Responders found Garcia mortally wounded inside his SUV. The passenger side window was shattered by gunfire, and another bullet hole was visible in the door.

Los Angeles Police Newton Division detectives have not identified a suspect, nor a motive.

"I don't know who would do this to him," said Linda Rodarte, a friend of Garcia and his fiancee. "He's a good guy."

The shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. The DaVita Washington Plaza Dialysis Center was already open. Rodarte said Garcia preferred to take care of the dialysis treatment, which can require 3-5 hours, early in the day.

Garcia worked as a tow truck driver until being disabled by his health issues. In recent years, he had suffered a stroke, lost vision in one eye, and had also been coping with diabetes, according to Rodarte.

A Davita spokesperson said it is cooperating with the police investigation, but declined to comment on what its employees heard or saw.

Throughout the day, the center had visible armed security outside its entrance. A guard was also on duty in the earlier morning hours, but was inside when the shooting occurred, Rodarte said she was told.

Garcia was the father of five children, his youngest still living at home.

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