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Man shot in North Hollywood trying to save grandpa from robbery suspects

A North Hollywood man was killed on Jan. 9, 2012 while trying to save his grandfather from an apparent robbery attempt.

January 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A North Hollywood man was killed Monday night while trying to save his grandfather from an apparent robbery attempt.

Authorities are asking for the public's help to track down three suspects. The shooting occurred at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the driveway of a home in the 8100 block of Coldwater Canyon Boulevard.

Manuel Flores, who is in his 60s, said the suspects were waiting for him when he pulled into his driveway after returning from the grocery store. They grabbed his wallet and a gold chain, and then fired one shot before running away. The bullet missed Flores and struck the door.

Flores screamed for help, and his grandson and other family members came to his rescue.

The grandson, 24-year-old Danilo Estuerdo Morales, ran after the attackers and broke the back window of the SUV they were in, according to a family member. Shots were fired, striking Morales in the forehead. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. The victim's mother collapsed when she heard the news.

"He didn't deserve to die. He was a really good guy," said cousin Katherine Mendoza.

Morales' 8-year-old sister and the rest of his family don't want to believe he is gone, saying he had a smile that would make anyone happy.

"They took somebody special that didn't deserve to go this young," said aunt Martha Flores. "They took somebody innocent for no reason."

The men fled the scene in what was believed to be in a mid-sized white SUV with its back window missing. It was possibly a Mitsubishi Montero. The suspects range in age from 15 to 20 years old, according to Lt. Alan Hamilton of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police at (877) LAPD-24-7.

The family is trying to pay for a funeral for Morales. An account has been set up for those who would like to donate:

Marta Flores

The family held a candlelight vigil Tuesday night to mourn Morales.

Correction: It was earlier reported that the victim was trying to save his father. It was later determined that the robbery victim was his grandfather.