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Friends mourn man shot outside bar

NORTHWEST DISTRICT -- Ten days after his friend was gunned down in

front of a Burbank bar, Pedro Medina’s voice still cracks as he remembers

the last time he saw Miguel Angel Hernandez.

“He had come that day to thank me for what I taught him,” said Medina,

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a foreman at Steven’s Grinding Co., where the slain man worked. “He told

me he appreciated the time I spent with him and then I went home.”

That evening, Medina went over to Hernandez’s Sylmar home to tell his

wife, Elizabeth, that he had been killed.

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Hernandez, 29, was shot four times in the chest and stomach Nov. 13

outside the Golden Pitcher bar at 3326 San Fernando Blvd.

Beside his wife, Hernandez leaves behind his 5-year-old son, Alex. He

was buried Tuesday in Mexico, Medina said.

His accused killer, Jose Luis Triana, remains behind bars at a county

jail facility on $1-million bail and could face the death penalty if

found guilty. He is to be arraigned Dec. 7.

Medina said Hernandez had stopped by Nov. 13 after being away for a

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few weeks for training.

The company’s owner, Ed Pressley, said he had handpicked Hernandez to

supervise his new Los Angeles facility.

“He had a good future here,” Pressley said. “He was the happiest I had

seen him.”

After visiting, Hernandez went with some of his co-workers to the

Golden Pitcher.

Though Medina wasn’t at the bar, he said co-workers told him that

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Hernandez and Triana began fighting after Hernandez accidentally hit

Triana with a pool cue.

“He didn’t see the guy behind him and when he tried to shoot he hit

the guy with the stick,” said Medina. “The guy got mad and they argued.”

Burbank Police Lt. Don Brown said Medina’s story was one of several

versions of the incident police have heard from witnesses. He would not

elaborate on any of the other accounts.

Police have said they believe that Triana got a gun from his car,

waited for Hernandez and shot him to death as he walked out the front

door of the bar.

For Medina, the violent circumstances of his friend’s death are still

hard to take.

“I still don’t believe that it happened,” he said. “Someone we’ve

never seen before ... caused so much damage to us.”


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