Suspect Arrested in Killing of Rite Aid Employee


Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A suspect was in custody today in the shooting death of a Rite Aid employee who was killed while confronting shoplifters at the business in Glassell Park earlier this month.

Anthony Lemus, 20, was arrested Monday and booked on suspicion of murder in the death of Miguel Penaloza, 36, who was shot at about 8:50 p.m. July 15 at 4044 Eagle Rock Blvd., according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Lemus was being held on $2 million bail, police said.

A second suspect was still being sought.

Penaloza was shot when he tried to stop two young men attempting to leave the business with a case of beer each, according to the LAPD and reports from the scene.

Shortly after the crime, police released surveillance photos of the suspects, described as 18 to 20 years old, who fled through the parking lot.

The store was closed for a couple days after the shooting, as employees mourned and union officials accused the company of failing to provide adequate security.

“No one should have to fear for their lives while they shop or work in a retail store. Rite Aid has refused, in store after store, to provide adequate professional security for its employees. Even after death threats and a police investigation took place in this store, the company placed profit over safety and refused security for its employees,'' the UFCW 770 said in a statement.

Rite Aid was “shocked and saddened by the killing of a valued associate at our store in Glassell Park,'' said Chris Savarese, director of public relations for the national chain. “The prayers and thoughts of the entire Rite Aid team are with our associate, his family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time. Rite Aid will offer support to the associate and his family through our associate relief fund and is offering other associates at that location support and counseling. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement authorities in their investigation.''

A Go Fund Me page established to help the slain man's family had raised more than $46,000 as of Tuesday morning.

“Miguel's beautiful spirit touched the hearts of everyone who knew him and his death has left so many heartbroken and in disbelief. He is mourned by his whole community,'' a message on the page says.

The page also notes that Penaloza is survived by his mother, father, brother, sister, three nephews and partner. It can be viewed

LAPD Central Bureau homicide detectives urged anyone with information regarding the robbery to call them at 213-996-4180 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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