Investigators were searching for a man suspected of fatally shooting the owner of an auto body shop in South Gate Tuesday night, authorities said.
Deputies responded to a report of shots fired at Diamond Touch Body Shop in the 4900 block of Mason Street around 12 p.m, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies arrived and found a man suffering from gunshot wounds.
The victim, identified as 49-year-old Edgar Fabian, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Witnesses, who asked not be identified, said they recognized the shooter as a man who came to the shop a week ago asking about the owner. The same man returned Tuesday and inquired about a car with the shop owner. The two man walked to the back office where the fatal shooting occurred.
They told officers they then heard gunshots, and saw the suspected shooter walking out of the shop and into an alley.
"It's a sad day because we're close to Christmas, the new year ... It's a tragic situation," said David Prieto, a friend of the victim.
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Detectives are hoping surveillance cameras will help them identify the shooter.
"This is done by a coward and I think that's wrong. I hope the guy is out there and whoever did it turns himself in," Prieto said.
Anyone with information on the shooting was encouraged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.