On Thursday evening, 68-year-old Steven Reyes was struck by an e-scooter and later died, following a confrontation with four teenagers stealing beer from his store.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) October 8, 2022
Authorities stated that Reyes was working as a store clerk at Tony’s Market in Highland Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California when four teenagers entered the liquor store.
The teenagers reportedly took items, including a six-pack of beer, and were attempting to leave when Reyes confronted them.
As Reyes tried to get the items back from the teenagers, one of the suspects struck him on the head, leaving him in a pool of blood on the sidewalk.
Authorities quickly arrived, but the suspects had already fled. Reyes was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital with critical injuries to the head.
His family was able to make it to the hospital to say their goodbyes, and the victim died soon after their arrival.
“When he passed away, he was surrounded by people he loved,” said Nelle Reyes, the victim’s daughter. “I think that’s all that anyone could ask for is to not leave this earth being by themselves.”
Authorities have released little information about the suspects but did indicate that they are searching for two females and two males. Witnesses to the incident said the suspects looked to be no older than 14 or 15 years old.
Reyes’ daughter said her father embodied the values of hard work, determination, and integrity, and she hopes the community will rally to find the suspects in his murder.
“I feel like this is something small I can ask from the community,” she said. “It’s a tragic, unnecessary and unfortunate event. … My dad’s life was not worth it.”
She also expressed being upset at her father for defending a store he did not even own, but she said he was just that type of “good employee.”
“He did what he had to do,” she said.
In addition to a daughter, Reyes leaves behind a wife and a 5-month-old son.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help in the wake of the tragedy.
“Steven Reyes is an immigrant from the Philippines who, among many other immigrants, came to the U.S. in search of a better life,” reads the webpage. “Steven had a loving heart and cared for everyone and always made sure that his family was safe.”