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Reward announced in fatal Pico-Union Jack in the Box shooting

Crime, Law and JusticeShootingsCrimeLaw EnforcementJack in the Box IncorporatedLos Angeles Police Department

Los Angeles police detectives Thursday announced a $50,000 reward in the fatal shooting of a 27-year-old man at a Jack in the Box restaurant in Pico-Union last year in hopes the money will motivate witnesses to come forward.

Jesus Eduardo Vargas was riding his bicycle in the 2100 block of West Pico Boulevard about 7:20 p.m. on July 1 when he was confronted by two men. Vargas was then chased inside the fast-food restaurant, where he got into a physical altercation with one of the men in front of the counter, according to a surveillance video released by police.

The man scuffling with Vargas then removed a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at Vargas. A second person then entered the restaurant with a bandana over his face and shot at Vargas, who was taken to a hospital where he died.

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The two men fled south on Hoover Street on bicycles. Both men were described as 20 to 25 years old, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-8.

It is unknown why the men were fighting, said Los Angeles Police Department Det. John Motto.

"We're hoping that by reaching out to the public, we might get an answer," Motto said.

There were at least 15 people inside the restaurant at the time of the shooting, many of whom left before police arrived. Detectives are hoping more witnesses will come forward to provide details about the suspects.

"We know people know," Motto said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Rampart Homicide detectives at (213) 484-3639. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

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