NORTH HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — Police are searching for a suspect who shot and killed an armed security guard at a strip mall in Panorama City.
The fatal shooting happened around 10 p.m. Thursday next to Mercado 3 Hermanos in the 15000 block of Roscoe Boulevard.
Authorities have not identified the victim, but friends and family identified him as Oscar Vasquez.
He was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said his weapon was missing.
Vasquez was well-known in the community and had worked at the mini mall for 12 years. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.
“He was a good father. He cared about his children very much,” wife Raquel Ortiz said through a translator. She later created an account for donations to the family. The Bank of America account number is 3250-0016-5743 under the name Raquel Ortiz.
She said he often sent his children money, and she didn’t know what she was going to do on her own now.
The victim’s nephew, Frankie Alvaranga, told KTLA that Vasquez was trained and permitted to carry a handgun, which he had with him.
“His gun was on his left side, he had his holster on his left side,” Alvaranga said.
“By what I know of tonight, what he did was he tried to pull his pepper spray out first,” he said. “His pepper spray was found on his right side by the floor.”
The suspect fled the scene. He was described only as a Hispanic male wearing a brown hoodie.