A clerk who apparently tried to stop four teens from stealing a case of beer at a Highland Park liquor store was fatally struck with a scooter, his family said.
The incident occurred around 6:55 p.m. Thursday in the 100 block of East Avenue 40, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Two males and two females entered the store and allegedly tried to steal items. When the victim, identified by family members as Steven Reyes, tried to stop them, one of the males struck him in the head with a scooter, police said.
The victim’s daughter, Nelle Reyes, said the assailants used a Bird scooter to hit him in the head several times, knocking him unconscious. She said her father was just doing his job and could not defend himself. She called the attack “selfish.”
The robbers were able to get away before police arrived.
Reyes, 68, was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
A GoFundMe page created by his family described him as an immigrant from the Philippines who came to the U.S. “in search for a better life.”
“Steven had a loving heart and cared for everyone and always made sure that his family was safe,” the fundraising page read. “His work ethics were incredible and he worked so hard to be able to care and support his mother.”
Reyes’ other daughter, Kaycie Reyes, said her father never got to meet her newborn son.
“I couldn’t believe that a case of beer is worth someone’s life,” she said.
Police described the teens in the attack as being between 15 and 18 years old.