Police said a "tagging" suspect was writing graffiti on an outside wall about 6:30 p.m. Church service was in progress. Two men came out of the church to ask the graffiti writer to stop.
A witness said the two men asked the tagger what he was doing. The tagger did not answer and continued spray-painting. Then a companion shot the two men. Police believe there were three suspects involved.
"Cited them, 'Hey, what are you doing?' or something similar to that. Not a confrontation, but just, 'Why? What are you doing to the church?'" said LAPD Det. Jeff Cortina.
"At that time, a second suspect came up from behind and began shooting at the church members that were trying to stop or prevent the tagging," said LAPD Det. John Motto.
A witness heard three gunshots.
Andres Ordonez, 25, died at the scene. The second man, in his 40s, was wounded. He was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, police said. Ordonez's widow is the pastor's granddaughter.
People who knew Ordonez said he worked in a restaurant to support his pregnant wife and young son.
Police said the taggers, believed to be gang members, were in rival territory, ready to shoot any challenger. They remained at large Monday. There were no descriptions of the suspect. Police said a getaway vehicle was used, but there was no description of the vehicle either.
Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti held a Monday evening news conference at the location. He said he would request from the City Council a $50,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the case.
Investigators believe there were witnesses in the area because people of the church service. Anyone with information related to the case is urged call the Los Angeles Police Dept. at (877) LAPD-24-7.