The owner of a South Los Angeles neighborhood market and a would-be robber are both dead after an exchange of gunfire at the store, police said Monday.
The store owner was identified by local residents as Carlos Martinez, proprietor of Martinez Market in the 6500 block of South Normandie Avenue in the Harvard Park neighborhood.
Several would-be robbers entered the market about 8 p.m. Sunday.
They demanded money from a female working the register, who neighbors told KTLA was Martinez's daughter.
At some point the intruders opened fire, striking the victim, who was 61, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Thomas Bojorquez said Monday morning.
The victim died at the scene. Bojorquez initially said investigators believed the victim was an employee; police were having difficulty contacting his family to notify them.
"He was a really nice person," said Christian Saavedra, who lives a couple blocks from the store.
Investigators believe the victim may have been armed as well, and may have wounded at least one of the robbers. A blood trail found at the scene may belong to one of the intruders, police said.
“We believe that it is the suspect’s,” LAPD Detective Nathan Khouri said.
Later Monday, an LAPD spokesman confirmed that one of the robbery suspects was dead and that another person suspect had been arrested. The suspected get away driver remained at large Monday night.
It was unclear if the robbers fled on foot or in a vehicle after the shooting. Investigators were checking the store for any surveillance video of the incident.
The store is located in a known gang area and has been subject to several robberies in the past, Bojorquez said. Residents told KTLA that Martinez had been shot in the leg during a previous robbery several years ago.
"It's kind of dangerous. There's a lot of gang members," Saavedra said. "It's not a good area."