A 42-year-old Asian American father of two young children is one of two victims killed in a series of shootings in Los Angeles early Tuesday morning.
The incident: A man in a Jeep Cherokee, identified as Carlos Lopez-Melendez, 50, went on five separate drive-by shootings in and around downtown LA in the span of thirty minutes, reports ABC7. He killed two men and injured a third.
- Lopez-Melendez began the shooting spree at around 1 a.m. when he shot and wounded Seth Jones in the area of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard, CBSLA reported.
- He then fatally shot a man, identified as Alexis Carbajal, 24, in a Starbucks drive-thru at Figueroa and 28th streets. Carbajal, a newlywed, leaves behind his mother, sisters and wife.
- The third drive-by shooting, which happened at Figueroa and 7th streets, claimed the life of an Uber driver, later identified as Asian American Mingzhi Zhu.
More details: Zhu was driving his Cadillac Escalade to pick up a passenger at about 1:25 a.m., when the gunman opened fire at him through the SUV’s window, reports NBC4.
- Lopez-Melendez, who fired at officers following a police pursuit, was killed by authorities during a standoff on the 91 Freeway in Fullerton.
- The LAPD has yet to identify the suspect’s motive and described the attack to be random in nature.
- “We are very mindful of the potentiality for that and leaning into that very actively,” LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore said when asked if the shootings would be investigated as a hate crime.
Terrible loss: Zhu is survived by his two children aged 2 and 8 and wife who are now at a “total loss,” according to a representative.
- “He was a hard-working, gentle, kind, deeply loving father and very dedicated husband,” said the family spokesperson.
- The South Pasadena community has set up a GoFundMe page describing Zhu as an “honest man who cared for other people and loved his family above all else.”
- The crowdfunding effort, which aims to support the grieving family, has so far exceeded its $50,000 goal as of this writing, raising over $200,000.