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Hugo Enrique Avila, 39

Hugo Enrique Avila, a 39-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Monday, July 24, in the 9200 block of California Avenue in South Gate, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

South Gate Police officers received a call about gunfire at 4:53 p.m. in a commercial building that houses a smog-check center, a gym and other businesses. When they arrived, police were directed to Avila’s office inside the building, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said. 

Avila was found inside. He had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene at 5 p.m., according to coroner’s records.

No weapon was found in the office, and investigators don’t have a motive for the shooting or a description of the gunman, Mendoza said. They hope surveillance camera footage will provide leads.

“A lot of people were seen running from the area after the gunshots,” Mendoza said. “It could have been a robbery or a personal dispute. We just don’t know yet.”

Mendoza said investigators don’t know what business Avila, who lived in Lynwood, conducted from his South Gate office. 

Relatives have set up a fundraising account to help Avila’s wife, his 2-year-old son and 7-year-old stepson, whom “he was raising as his own,” according to the website.

The page features multiple photos of Avila playing and posing with his smiling family. “He loved his boys very much,” it says on the site. “He left a beautiful family behind.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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