A wig shop owner in downtown Los Angeles was fatally stabbed while trying to stop a robbery over the weekend, authorities said.
Tommy Lee, 56, was working at his wig shop near the intersection of Wall Street and Olympic Boulevard around 1:15 p.m. Saturday when two 17-year-olds tried to rob him, news station FOX 11 reported.
“They were looking at a wig. And then all of a sudden they made a run for it,” landlord Davina Kangavari told the news station.
Cellphone footage and surveillance captured one of the robbers looking at a blonde wig before the duo fled, prompting Lee to chase them.
“Tommy had a record of being tough and going after robbers. He started chasing them around [the] shopping center and then the boy pulled out a knife and shanked him right in the heart,” Kangavari said.
Lee, who immigrated to the United States from South Korea, was discovered unconscious by authorities, and was pronounced dead at the scene, news station KABC reported.
Both suspects, a boy and girl, were arrested following the attack. Their identities haven’t been released because they’re minors.
Lee had owned his Fashion District wig shop for over 20 years. He is survived by a 25-year-old daughter.
“I don’t think he ever imagined he would be murdered over a wig,” Kangavari said.
“Shame on [the robbers]. Threw life away over a wig.”