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Larry Betencourt Demelo, 38

Larry Betancourt Demelo, a 38-year-old white man, was shot and killed Saturday, Sept. 10, in the 11800 block of Centralia Street in Lakewood, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Demelo, a resident of Artesia, had been sitting in a stairwell outside his girlfriend’s apartment building talking to another man, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Rosson. 

About 11 p.m., Demelo walked out to the street to talk to someone in a vehicle, Rosson said. Someone in the car shot Demelo in the torso and drove away. Demelo staggered back to the stairwell and collapsed, he said.

Demelo was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:39 p.m., according to coroner’s records. 

The person who had been talking to Demelo on the stairwell ran away, and investigators have not been able to speak with him, Rosson said. 

People in the apartment building heard gunshots, Rosson said, but no one has reported seeing the shooting so investigators don’t have any suspect information. 

Based on items left in the stairwell, investigators believe Demelo “may have been involved in a sales transaction” when he was shot, Rosson said. He didn't specify what the items were nor the nature of the transaction, saying it was still under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department 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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