A story for every victim

Raul Garcia Lopez, 38

Raul Lopez, a 38-year-old Latino, died Saturday, June 30,  a short time after he was shot in the 14500 block of Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Lopez was shot about 11:10 p.m. on Friday just outside Hoagies & Wings, Los Angeles police said.

The victim, who worked as a cook at the restaurant, had pushed out a group of men who had become angry while waiting for food, police said.

"At least one of the men in the group started to argue with restaurant staff. It started to escalate from there," LAPD Det. James Nuttall told KTLA. "The longer it takes to get the food, the situation starts to deteriorate."

Authorities said the men starting yelling racial slurs at employees, causing other customers to leave and prompting Lopez to lead the men out of the restaurant. As he walked back inside, police said, one of the men shot him.

He died later at an area hospital.

"He's just out doing an honest day's work, trying to do the right thing, escorting them from the restaurant to defuse the situation, and puts himself in harm's way," Nuttall said.

Lopez's wife and children appealed to the public to come forward with information on the slaying on Tuesday, the same day police released surveillance video of the suspects.

"He was a very responsible man. He loved his family," Melesio Lopez, his oldest son, said. "I just want justice."

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call homicide detectives at (818) 374-0040.

Anyone with information about the fatal shooting is asked to contact Van Nuys homicide detectives at (818) 374-0040. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Kate Mather

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