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Vigil Held For Melguin Santos, Driver Pulled From Truck, Beaten To Death Following Altercation At Hawthorne Bar

HAWTHORNE (CBSLA) — A vigil was held Tuesday night for a driver who was killed in Hawthorne.

The incident unfolded overnight Saturday outside of Rock It Sports Lounge and Grill on Hawthorne Boulevard north of Rosecrans Avenue.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the man, now identified as Melguin Lopez Santos, 40, of Los Angeles, was asked to leave the bar earlier because of an altercation inside. That's when Santos reportedly returned in his vehicle. Investigators say they received numerous calls Santos allegedly attempting to run over the crowd in a pick-up truck.

"I wish he was still here to spend time with my family and me," said Brandon Lopez at the vigil, the victim's son.

Monday, Santos' family members told CBSLA they want answers in his death.

"I want to know what happened," said Monica Perez, the wife of Santos. "I want justice, because something's not right."

For reasons unknown, at some point in time, authorities say Santos lost control of his car, and struck a tree. That's when a group of people outside tried to pull him out of the vehicle.

Deputies say Santos then attempted to drive away but then hit the wall of the building with his truck.

"It's important that the city officials in Hawthorne, as well as the LA County Board of Supervisors, introduce a reward to capture his killers," said Najee Ali at the vigil Tuesday, a community activist.

At that point, investigators say the crowd pulled Santos out of the truck and beat him. When authorities arrived on scene, they located Santos who had died.

As of Sunday morning, no arrests have been made. Authorities have identified four people involved in the fight who are cooperating in the investigation.

"He did not deserve this," said Ilene Perez, the sister-in-law of Santos. "Whatever happened, it shouldn't have gone that far. His kids are hurting. His wife is hurting. We just want to know the story on what happened."

A cause of death was not known. An autopsy was expected to be conducted to determine the exact cause. The investigation is ongoing.

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