Dad Killed in Front of Son While Responding to Craigslist AdS

A father was killed and his 15-year-old son was injured when they responded to an ad on Craigslist this weekend. The botched robbery occurred just hours after the Los Angeles Police Department announced there had not been a homicide in ten days, the longest “no-murder milestone” in three years.

Rene Balbuena, 41, and his son thought they were responding to a Craigslist ad for a cell phone in South Los Angeles Saturday night. According to the LAPD, Balbuena knocked on a door thinking they were meeting a man who would sell them a phone; instead, the person behind the door told them to go away. The pair were then approached in their car by two men who demanded money. When Balbuena stepped out of the car, one of the men opened fire and shot Balbuena three times in the torso before fleeing the scene. He was declared dead at the hospital.

A neighbor told NBC 4 that she heard gunshots and ran outside to help. Telling Balbuena’s son, who had suffered a graze wound, that she had called 911, he cried, “Please lady, tell me my daddy is going to be alright.”

LAPD Officer Drake Madison said the ad appeared to be "a setup for a robbery.” No arrests have been made and the shooters are still at large.

[Screenshot via NBC Los Angeles]