Partially deaf, blind man likely unaware he was getting robbed before he was fatally shot: Family

Feliciano Velez was shot and killed in an apparent robbery in South L.A. last month, his family says.

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Saturday, May 27, 2023
Partially deaf, blind man victim in apparent South LA robbery: Family
Feliciano Velez's family said they believe the South L.A. incident was a robbery gone wrong and that the victim likely didn't understand what the suspect wanted or was doing due to his visual and hearing impairment.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Alma Velez has spent her life building memories on Normandie Avenue in South Los Angeles.

Her childhood home sits along that street and the home she eventually made her own is right next to it.

However, everything changed on the afternoon of April 15. Normandie Avenue is now also the place where Alma's father, Feliciano Velez, was killed.

"If my dad would've died of health problems, we probably would've said, 'Ok, it was time,' but when it happens like this ..." said Velez, who shook her head in disappointment.

Alma said her father had diabetes and was practically deaf in his right ear and blind in his left eye.

An initial report from the Los Angeles Police Department said Feliciano was shot on the sidewalk near his home when a fight escalated, but there wasn't a fight, the victim's family says.

"The way his life was taken, it's what hurts the most," said Alma.

Feliciano's family told ABC7 they believe the incident was a robbery gone wrong and that Feliciano likely didn't understand what the suspect wanted or was doing due to his visual and hearing impairment. The suspect eventually pulled out a gun and fatally shot Feliciano, police said.

The person who killed him stole the only thing that is irreplaceable.

"I hope he regrets ... I hope he has time to analyze what he did to the family," said Alma of the suspect.

A suspect was arrested shortly after the shooting and was later booked, the family said. Police said the incident is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, Alma hopes a conviction will eventually bring her family closure so they can celebrate the Feliciano he lived. Alma and her siblings will say one last goodbye to their father at his funeral scheduled for Friday night.