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Martin Arias, 26

Martin “Tito” Arias, a 26-year-old Latino, died Monday, May 23, after he was shot near East Rosecrans and North Bradfield avenues in Compton, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

About 8:45 p.m. on May 22, Arias, of San Bernardino, was at a small family gathering when a man was spotted breaking into a Toyota sedan, said Lt. Jose Mendoza with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Arias went outside to confront the man, who ran north on Bradfield Avenue and across lanes of traffic onto East Rosecrans Avenue, Mendoza said.

The man reached the sidewalk, turned around and fired one round at Arias, striking him in the lower torso, Mendoza said.

Arias was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:29 the next morning, according to coroner’s records.

Arias, a father of two young children, was described as a family-oriented man who one day hoped to follow in his siblings’ footsteps with a career in law enforcement.

He had taken an exam for the Long Beach Police Department and passed, his uncle Guillermo Arias said.

“He kept himself in shape,” he said. “He kept himself out of trouble.”

Martin Arias and his close-knit family would get together each Sunday for a large meal. Martin was fond of cooking for his family and loved hot links, ribs and chicken, his uncle said.

That week, the family decided to gather at his aunt’s house in Compton.

“She’s taking it so bad that they put the house up for sale,” Guillermo Arias said.

Family from Illinois and Kansas have come to town to pay their respects as relatives pray for nine days. 

“This was a huge expense that just came up on us,” Guillermo Arias said. A fundraising page has been set up to help the family.

The gunman is described as a black man who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, Mendoza said.

Anyone with information 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 @nicolesantacruz and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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