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HAWTHORNE : Funeral for Minister Shot in His Driveway

January 20, 1994

Funeral services will be held Friday for a Hawthorne minister who was shot and killed in the driveway of his home by a gunman who stole his wallet.

Jose Armando Marin Batres, 41, minister at the Spanish-language services of the Church of Christ in Hawthorne, was standing in front of his house on Jefferson Avenue at 133rd Street just before midnight Saturday when a gunman demanded his wallet, said Hawthorne Police Lt. John Beerling.

After a struggle, the gunman shot Marin and fled, Beerling said. Marin was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Marin had been waiting for his two teen-age daughters to bring them the garage door opener, according to Jorge Gonzalez, a family friend and member of the congregation. Marin's son, David Armando, 16, was with him at the time of the shooting.

On Monday, police stopped a man driving a vehicle that matched the one in the shooting. The police exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who escaped, Beerling said.

Marin, an emigre from El Salvador, joined the Church of Christ congregation in April after the church recruited him from Ft. Worth, Tex., where he preached to a Spanish-speaking congregation.

"This was a man of God," Gonzalez said. "He did just tremendous work. He always gave the idea that no one was better than anyone else."

Although Marin was new to the congregation, he became popular among the church's 140 members, especially the 55 who are Spanish-speaking.

"He was not a bully-pulpit kind of guy, but he was very emphatic and expressive," said Chris Graham, the church's minister. "He was a very dynamic speaker. He had just done so much in a short period."

Church members are trying to raise money for his family, Gonzalez said. "They are absolutely devastated."

Marin is survived by his wife, Daysi; son, David, and daughters, Daysi and Ruth.

The funeral will be at 7 p.m. at Douglass & Dunaway Mortuary at 4286 W. Broadway in Hawthorne.

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