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Guard Shot and Killed in Southern California

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  • Guard Shot and Killed in Southern California

    LA PUENTE, Calif. -- A manhunt is under way Friday for four men suspected of fatally shooting a 59-year-old La Puente market security guard during a botched robbery attempt and fleeing empty-handed.


    The shooting at Northgate Market in the Hacienda Plaza shopping center in the 800 block of Hacienda Boulevard was reported around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, not long after the store closed for the night, said Sgt. Thomas Wilson, of the sheriff's Industry Station.

    Frutso Anuino, who died at the scene, was employed by a contract security service, where the semi-retired guard went to work after putting in 28 years at another job. He had been assigned to the store about two weeks ago and lived nearby.

    "The preliminary investigation suggests that the gunmen hid in the office in an attempt to rob the store after it closed for business," said Sgt. Paul Patterson, of the sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

    The store manager, unaware the masked bandits were upstairs, asked Anuino to retrieve an item in the second-floor office, he said.

    "After noticing the security guard's prolonged absence, a second employee went to the office to check on him," Patterson said. "She was confronted by the masked men at the foot of the stairs."

    She escaped and told the nine other employees what was happening. They huddled in a room at the front of the business and called 911, Patterson said.

    Arriving deputies escorted the 10 employees to safety and learned that the guard was still missing, Patterson said. They searched the store and found his body on the second floor.

    "We believe that he surprised the robbers and at that time, we believe he was shot and killed," sheriff's Lt. Al Grotefend told NBC4. The culprits, who were clad in black and wore masks, panicked and fled empty-handed.

    Anuino's wife collapsed after learning of his death and had to be hospitalized, NBC4 reported.

    He is also survived by three daughters and two granddaughters.

    "All the family's in shock," son-in-law Antonio Romero told NBC4. "We never thought we were going to see something like this. It's really painful."

    Detectives were reviewing surveillance video to see if the culprits' faces were captured before they donned masks, NBC4 reported.

    "It's just inhumane that a 59-year-old man who was working and in the midst of his duties, his life was taken from him and his family," neighbor Thelma Rodriguez told Channel 4. "It's unacceptable."

  • #2
    Police have reportedly stepped up the search for the suspects. There is also information about a memorial fund set up at a local Washington Mutual Bank complete with account number and routing number to aid the family.
    "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."