A mob of people beat a security guard to death near a Los Angeles nightclub on Sunday, according to authorities.
In a July 30 press release, the Los Angeles Police Department said the group of men in their 20s confronted the security guard, identified by relatives to the Los Angeles Times as Daniel Sandifer, and kicked and stomped on him after he lost his footing and fell into the street outside of the Dragonfly nightclub in Hollywood.
The attack — allegedly perpetrated by seven to 11 assailants, according to the LAPD — happened around 2 a.m. local time. The LAPD has not indicated a motive for the assault, stating the reason for the confrontation is “unknown.”
The LAPD said officers arriving at the scene found a man lying unconscious in the street and not breathing, per the release. He was taken to a hospital by the Los Angeles Fire Department, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said the suspects fled on foot before officers arrived. Authorities told KTLA 5 they don’t know whether a disagreement between Sandifer and the group of men began inside or outside the club. The LAPD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for additional comment.
Sandifer’s cousin Evette Sandifer told the LA Times that he had been working as a security guard for a few years prior to his death. The victim was the father of two preteen daughters, and also served as his grandmother’s primary caretaker, who is in hospice care.
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“I’m sure the club provided some footage,” Evette told the publication of the attack. “That’s on them, but everybody has cellphones nowadays. We need to get some suspects and hold them accountable.”
Daniel’s ex Brittany Jones, the mother of his two young daughters, told CBS Los Angeles’ KCAL News in an emotional video statement that she is heartbroken by his loss.
“This saddens me for real,” she said. “As the mother of his kids, this hurts in so many ways. Y’all have no clue. If anybody has any information, I ask that you give the information and try to get justice for Daniel. I’m strong, but this here . . . you’ll be missed.”
A group of friends, family, and coworkers gathered outside the club to memorialize Sandifer, setting up candles near the scene. One friend told KTLA 5 that Sandifer was a “good guy” and a “family-oriented man.”
“Just sad,” the friend, who did not want to identify himself to the news outlet, said. “Unfortunate situation, words were exchanged, and they ended up jumping him.”
Another friend at the scene told local ABC 7 News the incident was “brutal.”
“That shouldn’t have happened,” the other friend told ABC. “They should have just let it go, walked away. He had a life. He had two kids to go home to. Now he can’t see his kids no more.”
Per KCAL, the nightclub posted on Instagram after the incident and wrote, “As we begin to process and mourn the loss of our colleague, Dragonfly will be closed. Our hearts are with his family at this time.” The post was no longer available as of Wednesday morning.