The 55-year-old victim, identified as Chi Ngoc Bui from Westminster, had won several thousands of dollars at the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Investigators collected evidence Friday from the scene, including money that fell to the ground as Bui tried to stop the suspects from robbing him.
"This victim was in Hawaiian Gardens at a casino," said Bertagna. "He won several thousands of dollars."
Police believe the suspects followed Bui's red Honda from the casino. Bui had a female friend with him who managed to run away when the attack happened around 4:30 a.m.
"They somehow end up on this street," said Bertagna. "We don't know if they were lost or if they were going somewhere. The suspect vehicle pulls in front of them. The suspect gets out of the vehicle, confronts the victim."
Authorities say Bui and a suspect got into a fight on the 100 block of South Andres Place. When Bui collapsed, the male suspect jumped into a car driven by another suspect. The suspect left behind a knife. They then ran over Bui.
Police say the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head and upper body.
Police said Bui and the female friend have known each other for quite a long time. She lives in Santa Ana.
Police are seeking two suspects in a small gray car with tinted windows. Witnesses say one suspect was a man, but there were no solid descriptions.
If you have information related to the case, you're asked to call Santa Ana police at (714) 245-8400.