Dozens honor Highland Park liquor store worker who died after trying to stop robbery

The vigil was held at the worker's store and a makeshift memorial features flowers and notes for his family.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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Days after a Highland Park liquor store worker died after he tried to stop a group of teenagers from shoplifting, his family and the community want people to know he will never be forgotten.

HIGHLAND PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Days after a Highland Park liquor store worker died after he tried to stop a group of teenagers from shoplifting, his family and the community want people to know he will never be forgotten.

A vigil was held Monday afternoon for 69-year-old Steven Reyes.

According to police, Reyes tried to stop four teenagers from shoplifting and taking a case of beer at Tony's Market near the intersection of Figueroa Street and E. Avenue 40 last week.

LAPD said Reyes ran after the group when one of the suspects grabbed a scooter and struck him in the head. Reyes was hospitalized and later died.

The vigil was held at the store where a makeshift memorial features flowers, letters and notes for the victim's family.

Nelle Reyes, the victim's daughter, said her father came to the U.S. from the Philippines for a better life.

She said what her dad did was consistent with who he was: a hard worker and always wanting to do the right thing.

Now, she said she and her family are leaning on the community for support.

"As Filipinos, we're very family-centered," the daughter said. "We all take care of our elderly. That's exactly what he was doing, he was taking care of his mom, you know? Trying to work another job that he can help around the house financially."

A GoFundMe page has been started to help the victim's family.

"Here in LA is where he met his wife and started a family. He is a son, a father, a brother, a good friend and a hard worker," the GoFundMe page stated. "Steven had a loving heart and cared for everyone and always made sure that his family was safe."

The LAPD is searching for the four suspects.

Reyes' death is similar to another tragedy that happened within the past week in the Los Angeles area.

On Saturday, a man who owns a wig store in the Fashion District chased after teenagers trying to rob his merchandise. He was stabbed and killed. Those suspects have been caught.