A man who allegedly fatally shot another man outside a KFC in Northridge on New Year’s Eve apparently became upset because someone looked at him the wrong way, LAPD officials said Tuesday in announcing the identity of the suspected gunman who remains at large.
Meanwhile, a woman previously believed to be connected to the crime was arrested in January, but released pending further investigation, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Jorge Reyes Jr. was shot to death in the parking lot of the restaurant at 8644 Balboa Boulevard.
He was sitting on the front passenger seat of a vehicle when a man approached and started arguing with him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The other man started shooting at the victim, who got out of the car and ran before being struck multiple times and falling on the ground.
The shooter drove off in an older sedan with a woman, police had said.
Reyes was declared dead at the scene.
Police said that information from the community led to the identification of Derek Dominguez, 28, and Mallely Espinoza, also 28. The two are boyfriend and girlfriend, Detective Ryan Verna said during a news conference Tuesday. He added that Dominguez is believed to the the shooter in the incident.
Verna said the victim and suspect did not know each other and that the shooting appears to have stemmed from a "disrespect issue."
"It's believed that it was a simple look, the wrong look, that's what caused this incident," the detective said.
He explained that Dominguez and Espinoza were at the KFC ordering food with their children when someone looked at Dominguez when he became upset. He then walked outside and shot the victim, Verna said.
Espinoza was arrested on Jan. 22, but was later released pending further investigation, police said.
A warrant for murder was filed against Dominguez on Jan. 25, but he remains at large.
Police said he has connections in the San Fernando Valley, the Antelope Valley and Bakersfield.
Photos released by the LAPD on Tuesday show that Dominguez has several tattoos on his neck and head, including one of devil horns.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts can call the Verna at 818-374-1921.