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Wheelchair-bound man shot to death looking for L.A. area vandals

The Inglewood, Calif. apartment building where Sergio Valez, 48, was found shot to death on Sunday, July 29, 2012. CBS Los Angeles

(CBS) INGLEWOOD, Ca. - A wheelchair-bound man, Sergio Valez, was found shot to death three blocks from his home early Sunday morning, authorities told CBS Los Angeles.

The victim, 48, was shot once in the back and once in the head, according to the station. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles County firefighters.

Family members told police that the victim had gone out looking for the suspects who had vandalized the residence that he shared with his sons and grandchildren.

The couple had woken up to the sound of flower pots crashing through the windows "and things were landing all over their heads," Valez's widow told CBS Los Angeles.

The vandals had also slashed their car tires and left hateful graffiti on the walls, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The victim and one of his sons went out in search of the vandals, while relatives called the police.

Valez's son, Arnoldo, told CBS Los Angeles that he wishes he would have held his father back and told him "don't go."  In the past, gangs have been active in the neighborhood, and Arnoldo has told members to stay away and not to tag the apartments, CBS Los Angeles reported.

While begging for her husband's killers to give themselves up, widowed Elsy Velez, told CBS Los Angeles through a translator, "He was a really good person. He didn't hurt nobody. He was disabled."

Believing that the vandals may have acted in vengeance, Arnoldo told CBS Los Angeles, "He's my father. And now I have to live with that for the rest of my life. What else can I do? Just think about it and go through it."

Police currently have no suspects.

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