Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department Central Bureau Homicide division announced the arrest Thursday of a suspect in the beating death of a cashier at a Highland Park liquor store earlier this month and are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying additional suspects involved in fatal robbery.
The suspect is a 13-year-old boy, according to an LAPD press release on the October 6 murder. Around 7 p.m. that evening, Northeast Division patrol officers responded to a radio call of a robbery at a business located on the 100 block of East Avenue 40. When cops arrived at the scene they found a victim suffering from blunt force trauma to his head.
The police say that four suspects “who appeared to be young in age, entered the business and several of them attempted to steal various items. When a second store clerk attempted to stop the suspects a struggle ensued.”
When the second employee tried to help the first, according to LAPD, “suspect-1 struck the victim on his head with a scooter.”
Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responding to the call transported the victim to a local hospital but he was pronounced dead the next day.
Authorities have identified the murder victim as 68-year-old Steven Reyes and homicide detectives ID’ed “subject-1 as a 13-year-old male Hispanic and took him into custody.” Police are still searching for “other suspects/subjects” who “are described as one male Hispanic and two female Hispanics.”
The victim’s daughter, Kaycie Reyes, told FOX 11, “To lose your life over a case of beer… it’s like, try to wrap your head around that. He was just trying to do the right thing, and he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Reyes’ other daughter, Nelle Reyes, told the station that she remembers her father for his work ethic.
“When I first got the news I wasn’t upset at the people unfortunately, I was more upset at my dad for risking his life for something he knew wasn’t his or didn’t own the business. But he has such good work ethic, that he was such a good employee. He did what he had to do,” she said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Central Bureau Homicide Detective Obrecht at (213) 996-4184. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.