GLASSELL PARK (CBSLA) — Family, friends and colleagues of 36-year-old Miguel Penaloza, shot and killed Thursday night by a shoplifter at a Glassell Park Rite Aid where he worked, are mourning.
Police were seeking the public's help in capturing two men wanted in the shooting death of Penaloza who had given his two week notice and was working his last shift at the store on the night of the incident.
Police said the two suspects were captured on video. They walked into a Rite Aid on Eagle Rock Boulevard on Thursday night and allegedly grabbed two cases of beer and tried to leave without paying.
That was when Penaloza confronted them. Investigators say he struggled with the shoplifters briefly before being shot and killed.
"They should've had someone there," Penaloza sister told CBSLA. "They should've had someone there since the beginning. They have security guys at the $.99 Store. They should've had one there. They should've had a security guy since the morning to the night, and there was only two people working there."
Outside the store, a memorial for the 36-year-old victim was growing. Friends say he was working two jobs just to support his parents.
"There is nothing in the store that equals a human life. Whoever did this, I want you caught and I want you to go to prison for the rest of your life," said one person who learned of the death. "Why, man? He was a young guy. He worked two jobs."
Friends say Penaloza allegedly did not feel safe, which is why he had given his notice at the store.
In a statement, Rite Aid said, "We are shocked and saddened by the killing," and went on to say that it was offering its other employees counseling.
A GoFundMe campaign has been setup by family and friends of Penaloza to help with cost of funeral services.
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