The shooting happened at a building on the 8200 block of Lankershim Boulevard around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police say the victim and his friend were responding to a burglar alarm at an unnamed business next to a quilting company. The man got into some sort of altercation with the apparent burglars and was shot in the chest.
The victim was transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where he later died. The man was reportedly in his mid 30s.
"His friend was also here, who witnessed the incident," said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Scott Kennedy. "We were told that numerous suspects left the location in a number of vehicles."
One witness was at a church a few doors down when he heard the gunshot and saw men with baseball bats. He said they ran and fled the scene in three cars. One witness said as many as five to six men fleeing in three vehicles.
When officers arrived to investigate, they discovered the marijuana grow operation in a neighboring business next to the bloody scene. Narcotics detectives planned to remove the plants sometime Wednesday.
"The officers actually cleared several locations in this complex, and in one of those locations there was numerous marijuana plants located," said Los Angeles Police Det. Kristine Klotz.
Sources tell Eyewitness News marijuana had recently been growing at the business where the alarm sounded, but all that remained was the growing equipment. Police have not said what was inside the building.
So far, police have not released a suspect description. Police are reviewing surveillance cameras in the area for clues.
Police also towed two cars from the scene - a Prius and an Infiniti with blood stains on the passenger side. Police say they have also learned there may have been another person involved in the deadly altercation who was transported in unknown condition to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hollywood. That person's connection to the incident is unclear.
The woman who owns the quilting company says there were never any problems until now.
Late in morning, the victim's relatives arrived at the scene after spending several hours at the hospital.
"He was a really nice guy, he was always there for us, he would always give us lectures," said the victim's cousin.
Relatives say he leaves behind a 6-year-old son. The coroner has not yet released his identity.
Anyone with information related to the case is asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department at (877) LAPD-24-7.