Los Angeles police are seeking the public’s help to identify two men wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a Rite Aid employee in Glassell Park on Thursday.
The shooting happened around 8:50 p.m. when the employee, identified as 36-year-old Miguel Penaloza, confronted the two men when they attempted to leave the store with two cases of beer without paying, according to an LAPD statement.
Police said after a brief struggle over the beer took place, one of the suspects allegedly shot and killed Penaloza. The suspects then fled through the parking lot in an unknown direction.
On Saturday, LAPD released images of the two men captured from surveillance video. The footage, however, was not yet released to the public.
The suspect who allegedly shot Penaloza is described as an 18 to 20-year-old man, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall weighing roughly 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black shorts, and black shoes with white trim.
Authorities described the second suspect as a man, also between the ages of 18 and 20-years-old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a large square print on the back side, as well as tan or gray pants and black shoes.
Meanwhile, the employee union United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, which Penaloza was a member of, said employees have been concerned about the store’s safety for months.
“We mourn his passing and keep his family and loved ones in our thoughts,” the union said in a statement. “But his death should not have happened.”
UFCW 770 said that for several months, the union highlighted safety issues at that specific store, and that death threats and a police investigation took place there. And still, “the Company placed profit over safety and refused security for its employees,” the union claimed.
KTLA has reached out to Rite Aid for comment but a spokesman did not immediately respond.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact LAPD Central Bureau’s Detective Riojas at 213-996-4149, or Detective Manriquez at 213-996-4180. During non-business hours, or over the weekends, calls should be directed to 323-846-6553 or 1-877-527-3247.
All information will be kept strictly confidential, officials said.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477), or go directly to lacrimestoppers.org.