The Deaths of the Los Angeles Riots

Franklin Benavidez

Franklin Benavidez, a 27-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Thursday, April 30, 1992, in the 4400 block of South Western Avenue in Vermont Square. According to authorities, Benavidez was shot after fleeing from a gas station he had tried to rob at Western and Vernon avenues. Benavidez pointed a shotgun at officers after being ordered to drop it, they said. Two LAPD Metro Division officers fired 10 rounds, investigators said. A second suspect, Victor Munoz, 19, was struck in the stomach, police said, after he appeared to arm himself with a handgun. Munoz, who was hospitalized for two weeks, was not arrested. Investigators later determined that Munoz was carrying a beer can. Munoz said Benavidez did not have a gun and did not try to rob the gas station. J.C. Wilburn, who operates the Shell station, said two Latino men -- one with a shotgun -- tried to rob his business moments before the shooting, but left when he and two co-workers displayed guns of their own. Almost immediately after the would-be robbers turned the corner, Wilburn said, gunfire rang out. Benavidez, who moved to the United States in 1985, was born in El Salvador and had served in the Salvadoran Army. In Los Angeles, he repaired cars and delivered telephone books.

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times