Mario Rupert Melbourne Jr., 30
Mario Rupert Melbourne Jr., a 30-year-old black man, died Monday, July 24, after he was struck by a car at the intersection of East Cypress Street and South Crane Avenue in Compton, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
Melbourne had been standing outside with a big group of people about 10:55 p.m., when a man pulled up in a grey BMW sedan, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza.
The man, identified as Frankie Mazen III, a 44-year-old black man, got out and began arguing with Melbourne, Mendoza said.
Melbourne's father told KTLA 5 news that Mazen was an acquaintance of Melbourne's who had been accused of stealing money from him in the past. Because of that, the father said, Melbourne asked him to leave.
The argument escalated to a fistfight, Mendoza said. The driver got back in his car and started to drive away, but made a U-turn and headed back toward Melbourne, who was standing in the street, Mendoza said.
Mendoza said the suspect intentionally struck Melbourne with the car, and then drove east on Cypress Street.
Melbourne was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:05 p.m. The cause of death was listed as traumatic injuries.
Family members reported that Melbourne was the father of a 7-year-old son and that his brother and brother's girlfriend had been standing near him at the gathering. They were not injured.
The BMW that struck Melbourne was found a short distance from the scene, according to a sheriff's news release. Mazen is still at large, and wanted for questioning, according to the release.
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.