LOS ANGELES—A man was robbed and assaulted in South Los Angeles during a car sale meetup before being fatally struck by a car in front of his family early afternoon of March 25.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputies were called just after 12:10 p.m. to the intersection of Budlong Avenue and 109th Street in the Westmont area of Los Angeles on reports of a traffic collision and found the man suffering from gunshot wounds at the scene, according to a department statement.
The victim was in the area to meet up with a car seller to buy a car for his son, according to authorities.
“Our investigators got there, started reviewing video along with the deputies and we learned from interviews that we conducted that the victim, who is a Hispanic male in his 50s had taken his family, essentially, which included his wife and his daughter to that area for the purpose of purchasing a vehicle,” LASD Lt. Derrick Alfred told Fox11.
The suspect, who was posing as a car seller, “began to assault him [the victim],” and the sheriff’s department believes the suspect’s intent was to “rob him of the cash he brought for the purpose of purchasing that vehicle,” Alfred said.
Two additional suspects participated in the robbery and attacked the victim.
Though initial reports and earlier media coverage indicated that the victim sustained gunshot wounds, the subsequent investigation through interviews and videos suggested otherwise, according to Fox11. Alfred said one of the suspects carried a knife, and so far there’s no indication of any of them armed with a gun.
“Upon interviews and looking at video, it looks like he was struck in the head with some type of object which caused him to be disoriented,” Alfred said.
After the victim was attacked, he stumbled onto the street away from the suspects and was struck by a car traveling southbound on Budlong. He sustained “traumatic injuries as a result of the traffic collision” and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, according to the department.
The attackers fled the scene on foot, heading westbound on 109th Street. They were described only as males.
Deputies also found out that the car he intended to purchase had been reported as stolen, Fox11 reported.
“This is a tragic situation of a man trying to do good for his family and buy his son a car and now he’s dead, so we’d really like to get to the bottom of this,” Alfred said.
The victim’s identity was not yet released. The LASD did not specify if the driver remained on scene following the collision.
Anyone with information on the incident was encouraged to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be provided to Crime Stoppers via phone at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
City News Service contributed to this report.