[symple_googlemap title=” 1100 block of West Pacific Coast Highway” location=” 1100 block of West Pacific Coast Highway” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]
An 18-year-old man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of shooting dead the longtime owner of a burger restaurant in a Harbor City strip mall during an attack on a customer, who was also killed.
The customer may have been the intended victim while the eatery owner appeared to be hit by stray rounds, according to authorities.
The possible gang-related shooting occurred about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bob’s Hamburgers in the 1100 block of West Pacific Coast Highway.
Joey Mendoza allegedly approached the intended victim, who was standing next to the restaurant’s counter, and fired several shots from a handgun.
Louis Garcia, 23, of Wilmington, collapsed and died at the scene.
The eatery’s owner, 61-year-old Charalambos Antonelos of San Pedro, had been working behind the counter and was struck by stray gunfire, police said. He died at a hospital.
Witnesses and police said the gunman’s face was covered during the attack.
“Harbor detectives identified the suspect through surveillance video, witness statements and gang intelligence,” according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department. “Detectives served a search warrant and captured the suspect without incident.”
The handgun used in the shooting has not been recovered, according to police.
Mendoza, who was arrested about 1:45 a.m., was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, according to sheriff’s inmate records.
An employee said Bob’s Hamburgers had been operating for about 30 years, and distraught customers told reporters that the longtime owner was known for giving out free food to those in need.
Detectives urged anyone who can provide additional information about the shooting to call them at (310) 726-7889 or (310) 726-7887.
After-hours and weekend calls can be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7 and anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or by clicking on “webtips” at lapdonline.org.
—City News Service