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Australian fitness trainer dies in a hail of bullets as gunman opens fire in Los Angeles

A man gunned down in front of a Los Angeles marijuana dispensary has been identified as a Sydney-raised fitness trainer.

Azuma Bennett, 30, was shot up to eight times at about 9.45am on Friday while outside a marijuana dispensary on West Slauson Avenue in Windsor Hills, LA.

Police said they found Mr Bennett lying in the doorway of the building with gunshot wounds and declared him dead at the scene.

Mr Bennett grew up in Sydney with his father, a martial arts expert who died in 2017, and mother, who still resides in Sydney.

He attended Waverley College, a private eastern suburbs school, and worked at Mosman's Fitness First between 2012 and 2018.

One of the gym's trainers, Brad Spence, said Mr Bennett was inspired to move to the US in 2018 following the death of his father.

'Azuma moved to Los Angeles after the death of his father and was helping kids in Compton for free. He wanted to give back to the community and make the world a better place,' he told Mosman Collective.

'We are in total shock that this has happened and everyone at Fitness First is in disbelief.'

Tony Del Vecchio from Bondi Boxing said Mr Bennett helped train people at the gym from when it opened in 2015.

He said Mr Bennett would 'walk in and light up a room' and trained with young children through to top athletes.

'Azuma was part of the fabric at Bondi Boxing Club and we will miss the days when he would come in with that smile that would brighten the whole gym no matter how bad your day was,' an emotional post on the gym's Facebook page reads.

'He will be missed by all, RIP little brother. Hope to see you on the other side.'

Mr Bennett was just three weeks away from flying home to visit his family in Sydney when he was tragically killed.

A GoFundMe to fly his body to Australia has raised over AUD$34,000.

'Azuma was one of a kind. An outstanding athlete, fighter, teacher trainer, and friend/mate to so many,' fundraiser organiser Tamara Fortune wrote.

'We lost one of the best ones out there. He did not deserve this. He was kind to all that he met and always engaged everyone in the gym with his positive energy and engaging personality.

'Rest Easy Azuma and keep punching up there. We love you mate.'


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