A 39-year-old father who moved to the U.S. from Nicaragua was shot to death as he worked to send money home for his daughter's birthday.
In a GoFundMe campaign, the family of Juan López says they are hoping to raise money to send his body home to Nicaragua after he was killed on April 15 while on a job as a painter.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, López — a father of three — was hired to paint over gang graffiti outside of an ice cream shop in Northridge, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.
The man accused of shooting López is an alleged gang member who told police he had taken issue with seeing the graffiti painted over, the newspaper reported.
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Per news station KTLA, the male suspect shot López multiple times in the chest with an “Uzi” type semi-auto handgun. Three other men were also shot during the incident.
López had taken the job to send his 9-year-old daughter, Brittany, enough money to buy a cake for her birthday — which is the same day he was killed.
"We are requesting your monetary support to repatriate the body of my brother Juan F López, who was the victim of a crime in this country when he was working as a painter," his family wrote in a translation on the GoFundMe page. "Everything in your heart will be useful to us at this time. Thank you in advance for your support."
The Messenger contacted the Los Angeles Police Department for additional information on Wednesday.
While speaking to the Los Angeles Times, López's sister, Ruth López Suarez, said they had been living together since her brother arrived in the U.S. six months before his death.
She said he fled to the country after he escaped a kidnapping in Mexico.
“He was so happy because he was going to earn that money to send his girl to buy the cake,” she said of her brother.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the family's fundraising campaign has garnered over $40,000 in donations.
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