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.