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Family of slain Sherman Oaks cook speaks out

July 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Hoagies & Wings restaurant in Sherman Oaks was closed Monday night, 72 hours after a shooting that claimed the life of a cook, 38-year-old Raul Lopez.

Last Friday night, detectives said five rowdy men came into the restaurant. Lopez argued with one of the men, then used a chair to shoo them out, before one of the men shot Lopez in the chest. He died a short time later at a nearby hospital.

Lopez, a father of five, worked two jobs to support his family.

Concealing her pain, Lopez's wife, Guadalupe, sat quietly Monday night. Their 16-year-old son, 7-year-old son and three daughters all under the age of 6 have to cope with the loss of their father.

"He meant a lot to me. He's my only dad and I really care about him, but I can't do nothing anymore," said the victim's son, Melesio Lopez. "When they found out they were crying. They don't understand."

Witnesses told police the suspects fled the scene in a dark-colored SUV.

"They're really heartbroken. His wife has been crying non-stop. She didn't feel like eating," said neighbor Jessica Gonzalez.

The gunman was described as a black man in his late 20s or early 30s with a skinny build and short hair, about 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet tall.

Anyone with information was urged to call Van Nuys homicide detectives at (818) 374-9500.