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Vigil to be held for nightclub owner fatally shot in his Rolls-Royce

May 14, 2011 |  5:24 pm

Alonzo Ester. (KTLA-TV)

Family members and community residents are scheduled to hold a vigil Saturday night for a well-known nightclub owner gunned down inside his Rolls-Royce in the driveway of his Baldwin Hills home early Friday.

The vigil will be held at Alonzo Ester's Dynasty Restaurant and Lounge in Inglewood, where someone had affixed a bouquet of sunflowers to the front entrance with a balloon saying "You'll Be Missed."

Police are searching for whoever killed Ester, 67, after he returned home from his nightclub. Investigators said the killer apparently approached the driver's-side door and fired one or two shots about 2:30 a.m. Ester died later at a hospital.

Witnesses who heard the gunfire reported seeing a man leaving the neighborhood in a sedan, said Capt. Vito Palazzolo of the Los Angeles Police Department. Witnesses told The Times that a silver BMW had been parked on the street half an hour or more before the incident and was gone after the shooting.

Ester was a gregarious man who liked to entertain guests at his home. His annual birthday party at the Dynasty Restaurant was a "red-carpet affair" that drew hundreds, said Denice Doggans, 56, one of numerous friends who stopped by the house Friday after hearing news of his death.

The club owner was a self-made man who moved to Los Angeles from a small town in Louisiana when he was 18, family members said.

His former wife, Patricia Ester, who had remained close to him, described him as a "people person" and workaholic. "He was friendly, cheerful, but extremely business," she said.

-- Abby Sewell and Richard Winton

Photo: Alonzo Ester

Credit: KTLA-TV Channel 5 News