COMPTON, Calif. - Surveillance video captured a man being struck and killed after a fight with his friend in Compton, and sheriff's deputies are on the hunt for the driver on Tuesday.
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials responded to a call of a pedestrian struck at about 11 p.m. Monday at the intersection of East Cypress Street and South Crane Avenue, where they discovered the body of a man.
Deputies learned the victim, identified by family members as 30-year-old Mario Melbourne, was with friends near a location where he worked as a security guard when the suspect drove up, got out of his vehicle and began arguing with Melbourne.
The argument led to a fist fight and the suspect re-entered his vehicle and began to drive away. He then made a U-turn, returned to the location and struck Melbourne.
The suspect fled eastbound on Cypress Street and out of view in a gray-colored BMW, according to sheriff's officials.
The intense moments leading up to the victim's death were captured on surveillance video.
Investigators said the suspect and Melbourne were longtime friends and the man behind the wheel intentionally chased down the victim after Melbourne tried to damage the suspect's car with a knife. According to detectives, the entire ordeal was over money.
"The suspect had stolen some money in the past from the victim, and the victim didn't want to socialize with him at this gathering," explained LASD Sgt. Guillermo Morales.
The victim's father, whose name is also Mario Melbourne, said his son was just a couple of weeks shy of his 31st birthday. He leaves behind a 7-year-old son of his own.
His distraught family pleaded for the driver to turn himself in.
"If he has a heart, just please, please turn yourself in and, you know, you took away somebody's father, you took away somebody's life," said Aimee Priddy, mother of the victim's son.
A YouCaring page has been created to help pay for Melbourne's funeral expenses.
LASD homicide detectives were investigating the incident.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477).