A visit to ‘negative’ L.A. ends in death as a wife laments, ‘He was supposed to come back’

People stand on a sidewalk blocked off by yellow tape.
An investigation is underway after a man was shot to death early Monday in the Florence area of Los Angeles.

A man who recently returned to Los Angeles to celebrate his father’s birthday was found fatally shot early Monday in the Florence neighborhood, according to family and authorities.

Robbie Bell, 37, of Seattle was found suffering from gunshot wounds after police responded to reports of a shooting in the 100 block of East 76th Street at 12:48 a.m., authorities said.

First responders pronounced Bell dead at the scene, according to Matthew Cruz, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson. There is no information on a suspect.

Bell, originally from Los Angeles, flew into town for his father’s birthday Saturday and was staying with one of his cousins, said his wife, Ronnicia Bell, 36.

“He was supposed to come back,” she said. “It’s so crazy because my husband is a God-fearing man.”


She said her husband “had his downfalls” related to his childhood and the neighborhood he grew up in, but they moved away from Los Angeles to escape that.

“L.A. is a negative town — the gang violence, killing, shooting,” Bell said. “I know how easily a Black man could get taken in L.A.”

She met her husband in Watts and dated for five years before getting married in 2013. Shortly after, they moved to Las Vegas to start a family and lived in Arkansas before settling in Washington state.

Together, they have two boys, 3 and 10, a 4-year-old girl, and a 17-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

“She’s about to graduate [from high school] and she’s broken,” Bell said.

Bell hasn’t been able yet to tell her two youngest children what happened. They will travel to Los Angeles to be with family members for the memorial service, she said.

Robbie Bell worked as a truck driver and was devoted to studying the Bible, his wife said. He loved history and would spend hours watching anything he could about it, especially about mankind, she said.


His dream was to acquire some land and watch his kids — his “mini mes,” as he called them — grow up. His wife shared a video he had posted on Facebook. In the video, Robbie Bell talked about his family and what motivated him to be a better person.

“It’s not easy. But you know what makes it a little easy — I got my wife, I got my children that are dependent on me to make things happen,” he said. “To give them the life we all want to give our children.”

He often told his wife, “God is not gonna take me away from you that way,” she said.

“And they took him from me.”