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Shoplifting Suspect Dies After Struggle With Bystander Near Store, Police Say

October 12, 1994

FULLERTON — A man suspected of shoplifting a 12-pack of beer died Tuesday after struggling with a bystander who chased the man to a nearby parking lot, police said.

Just before noon, 26-year-old Cipriano Martinez Vasquez entered K's Market, in the 100 block of West Orangethorpe Avenue, witnesses told police. Police said Vasquez then took a 12-pack of beer without paying and ran west on Orangethorpe, with the clerk and a bystander giving chase.

The bystander, identified by police as Mitchell Gohman, 42, of Fullerton, caught up with Vasquez in the parking lot of a closed bank in the 200 block of Orangethorpe. Gohman was interviewed by police at the scene but was not held.

"A struggle ensued between Vasquez and the witness," Lt. Tony Hernandez said. "Fullerton police responded to the scene to find Vasquez in need of medical aid."

Vasquez was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are still interviewing witnesses and are continuing the investigation. They are also attempting to locate the family of Vasquez, who is also known as Maxamilliano Martinez. His hometown is unknown.

Any witnesses to the confrontation or anyone knowing members of the Vasquez family are asked to call Fullerton police at (714) 738-6534 or (714) 738-6754.

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