David “Dizzy” Martinez, the Echo Park man who was shot by police in March while going out for tacos , died this morning after suffering a seizure. The 47-year-old Echo Park resident, who had been released from the hospital about three weeks ago after being treated for his injuries, had returned to L.A. County-USC Medical Center for an appointment when his heart stopped, said his wife, Gina Benavides.
Benavides was called by the doctors to the hospital, where she found her husband with tubes in his mouth. “They could not revive him,” she said.
“He was doing fine. We were cleaning and watching movies last night,” said Benavides in a telephone interview early this afternoon. Martinez told his wife that he would return from his medical appointment at about 2 p.m. “He never came home,” she said.
Police are conducting an internal investigation of the officer-involved shooting that took place shortly after midnight on March 19 at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue. Police opened fire on Martinez after he pointed what appeared to be a gun at officers responding to a report of an armed gang member. But a search immediately after the shooting failed to find the gun that Martinez had allegedly held in his hand.
Martinez was shot only a few hours after being released from jail on an open container violation, said his wife. Martinez was shot while standing at the corner while his wife and his sister were ordering tacos from the taco truck at Logan Street near Sunset Boulevard.
Benavides said a car wash fundraiser will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at El Centro Del Pueblo, 1157 Lemoyne Street. The proceeds will be used to cover funeral expenses, she said.
- Echo Park man shot by police dies. Patch