Authorities hope a $20,000 reward will generate tips that help solve the fatal shooting in East Los Angeles of a young man whose family appealed Wednesday for help from the public.
Rene Alejandro Lupian, 22, was gunned down in the 900 block of South Concourse Avenue as he walked home from work around 10:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
Lupian’s attacker struck him in the head with what may have been the butt of a gun and then shot him twice before running off with his backpack, according to sheriff’s investigators.
“My little brother was amazing,” Christina Lupian said at a mid-morning news conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. “He was my best friend, and he didn’t deserve this. This can happen to anyone’s brother, and I just ask please, please, please, just any information anyone has, to just please … come forward.”
Investigators said video surveillance from a nearby liquor store on Whittier Boulevard showed the driver of a white compact car watching Lupian closely as he put beer that he had purchased in his backpack.
A woman could be seen getting into the car just before it followed Lupian onto South Concourse Avenue, and a witness saw a white compact car leaving the scene, authorities said.
A gold cross that the victim wore around his neck on a chain, a keepsake left to him by his grandmother, was found on the ground where he died. Authorities believe the victim may have been fighting with the suspect to keep it in his possession.
Lupian was working at an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Pico Rivera and had applied to a trade school to pursue his dream of becoming an architect.
He studied literature at Antioch University and enjoyed writing poetry and music, according to Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who recommended the reward for information on the gunman.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call sheriff‘s homicide Detective Theo Baljet at (323) 890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.