Mario Tovar, 59
Died April 21, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
Mario Tovar, a 59-year-old Latino, was killed during an attempted robbery Wednesday, April 21, in the 2700 block of East Palmdale Boulevard in Palmdale, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
Tovar, who ran the Palmdale Jewelry Mart, was at the store when he was shot about 2:15 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene, coroner’s officials said.
Witnesses described the suspect as a black male in his early 20s wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap, authorities said. He was last seen fleeing the scene on foot through the parking lot of the jewelry store.
Sheriff’s deputies detained one individual a short distance from the store. He was held Wednesday evening pending questioning by homicide detectives, authorities said.
It was unclear whether this individual was involved in the shooting at the store, authorities said.
There was another incident at the jewelry store April 17, Sheriff's Det. Kevin Lowe said. Two armed men had entered Tovar’s store and “during the robbery, they got the victim’s gun,” Lowe said.
Investigators said it was unclear whether the incidents that took place Saturday and Wednesday were related, but were hoping that video surveillance from both events would help resolve this.
Although further investigation was necessary, Lowe said he was doubtful the same suspects were involved in both crimes at the store. One reason is that the store has a secured entry that would have required Tovar to physically let visitors in, Lowe said.
“If it were the same guys, I can’t imagine him letting them in,” Lowe said.
— Ann M. Simmons
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Updated: May 29, 2010 at 7:19 p.m.