Stray bullet kills vendor and father of 2 who was a fixture in Long Beach neighborhood

A street vendor and father of two was shot and killed as he was working Wednesday in Long Beach, but police say the bullet wasn't intended for him.

Long Beach police responded along the 100 block of East Eagle Street to reports of gunfire around 4 p.m. and, down the block, found a man shot in the chest. He died later at a hospital.

Family members identified the vendor as 37-year-old Yener Ramirez.

His widow, Alma Cruz, told KABC-TV Channel 7 that Ramirez had wanted to quit working as a street vendor after having been robbed at gunpoint previously.

She sobbed as she told the outlet that he devoted his life to his children, a 1-year-old and a teenager.

Read more: Trans man beaten and arrested by sheriff's deputy asks judge to be declared innocent

Police say several men had been in the area and one fired the shots, but they had fled by the time officers rolled up. Ramirez probably had not crossed paths with the gunmen before, police said. No details about the shooters were available.

"Loving father working tirelessly days in order to provide for his family as a street vendor unfortunately was shot and killed," said a GoFundMe page set up to cover Ramirez's funeral costs.

Witnesses who spoke to KABC-TV Channel 7 suggested the targets of the shooting might have been two customers at Ramirez's vending cart.

Interviews from local stations and news outlets paint Ramirez as a well-known fixture in the neighborhood with his red cart.

According to the Long Beach Post, he sold corn and shaved ice in the Wrigley neighborhood for 15 years.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact homicide detectives Michael Hubbard, Jesus Espinoza or Alfredo Chairez at (562) 570-7244.

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.