A Marion man is dead after suffering an apparent gunshot wound in the parking lot of IHOP, according to a Hickory Police Department press release.

Rafael Cerda-Ramirez, 26, of Marion, was pronounced dead at Catawba Valley Medical Center after being transported there for injuries sustained from an apparent gunshot wound, according to the release.

HPD officers responded to a call at the restaurant in the 2400 block of U.S. Highway 70 SE at approximately 11:56 p.m. Monday.

Investigators are currently attempting to locate persons of interest, two males who were potentially driving a small burgundy car, according to the release.

Anyone at IHOP in Hickory between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and midnight or who may have information about this crime are urged to contact HPD Inv. K. Craig at 828-261-2616 or kcraig@hickorync.gov.

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