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Sergio Gonzalez, 52

Sergio Gonzalez, a 52-year-old Latino, was shot to death Saturday, Nov. 5, in the 1600 block of East 85th Street in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of South Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

About 11:25 p.m., witnesses heard an argument outside an apartment complex before a single gunshot rang out, said Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Eleanor Alvitre, 71, who lives in the complex next door woke up to a loud bang. Alvitre listened for screams or hollers, but heard only a gasp. After a few minutes, she fell back asleep, figuring the noise was just a firecracker.

But responding authorities found Gonzalez, who had been shot in the chest, in the walkway of the four-unit apartment complex, where he was pronounced dead. 

According to another neighbor, Maria Orozco, 36, Gonzalez lived in his car behind the building, which is owned by his two brothers.

Police have not identified a suspect or a motive in the shooting. “We talked to numerous people; we don’t see that he had any problems with anybody,” Mendoza said. “We’re also searching for answers.”

Neighbors remembered Gonzalez as a friendly and respectful man who’d talk about the Lord and sometimes offer boxes of strawberries or lemons. “Que dios te bendiga,” he’d always holler, Alvitre said. God bless you.

“He’s a good neighbor, a good friend,” Alvitre said. “I’m just puzzled. To say of everybody that lives here, why him?”

On Monday afternoon, wilting orange flowers in the shape of a cross remained at the scene of the shooting, next to a crucifix, a vase of red roses and a candle.

No one answered the doors at the units where neighbors said Gonzalez’s brother and cousin lived.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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