Los Angeles police are searching  for several suspects in connection with the fatal shooting of a 38-year-old man outside a Sherman Oaks restaurant, authorities said Saturday.

Lt. Jim Gavin of the LAPD's Van Nuys station said the victim, Raul Lopez, was shot about 11:10 p.m. Friday in the 14500 block of Ventura Boulevard, just west of Van Nuys Boulevard.

According to police, Lopez was working inside the restaurant when he got into an argument with one of the suspects, who was accompanied by four other men.

Gavin said that Lopez picked up a chair and forced the group out of the restaurant. Once outside, one man reportedly pulled a pistol from his clothing and shot Lopez once in the chest.

Witnesses told police that the men fled in a dark-colored sport utility vehicle. Paramedics took Lopez to a local hospital where he was was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call homicide detectives at (818) 374-9500.

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-- Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times