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Traffic worker fatally shot in Venice leaves behind a 1-year-old daughter

In an instant, another day at work at a Venice construction site became a scene of horror.

Marvin Ponce was at the end of his shift about 4 p.m. Wednesday and cleaning up traffic control equipment when a man dressed in black approached him, aimed a chrome revolver and opened fire.

Ponce, 37, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Los Angeles Police Officer Tony Im.

His body lay in the street at 7th Avenue and Brooks Court, clad in a fluorescent work vest, as police and coroner’s officials descended on the scene.

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Co-workers at Right of Way, a San Dimas company that provides traffic control for construction sites, film shoots and other events, said Ponce was a cherished employee who left behind a 1-year-old daughter.

“Marvin was a family man, and he worked hard to take care of his family, especially his daughter,” said Mario Recinos, a co-worker and close friend. “He was never negative, always gave positive advice and always had a big smile on his face.”

Ponce, a resident of San Fernando, had worked at the company for three years. The shooting happened on the company’s first day at the construction site in the Oakwood section of Venice, a neighborhood bounded by Lincoln and Abbot Kinney boulevards with a legacy of gang violence.

On Thursday, Ponce’s family members gathered at the crime scene to place flowers. Some embraced and wiped away tears.

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“He was never late … and treated all of his co-workers with respect,” said Wes Molino, the company’s president. “He was a model employee and more importantly, a good man.”

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Right of Way said the company was helping LAPD detectives with the investigation.

After the shooting, the gunman fled west on Brooks Court. Police described the shooter as a black man 25 to 30 years old. He wore gray shorts, a black hooded sweatshirt and black glasses, according to LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman.

The gunman was described as wearing a mask, Eisenman said.

Investigators canvassed the streets around the construction site, but the shooter remains at large.

Police briefly detained a person for questioning in connection with the shooting but determined that person was not the assailant, Eisenman said.

The slaying of Ponce was the sixth homicide in Venice during the last 12 months, according to The Times’ Homicide Report database.

For more news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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