Family of slain Sherman Oaks cook speaks out

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES

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.

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