John Li (d. 8 Sept 2009) was husband of Yee-ling Li, the father of Mia-ling and Robert Li, and the owner and operator of Fortune Liquors in Los Angeles. The family lived together in the Larchmont area of central Los Angeles. The family owned two liquor stores. Fortune Liquor on South Normandie was managed by John Li. Fortune Find Foods and Liquor was managed by his son, Robert.
In April of 1999, Li's store was looted during a short-lived riot. Li hid under the front counter of the store, where he was found by LAPD detective Harry Bosch. He offered Bosch his last cigarette, which the detective appreciatively accepted.
On 8 September 2009, he was shot three times and killed by Eugene Lam under instructions from Mia-ling and Robert. There were several aspects of the case that posed difficulties for the investigators. One was Chinese calligraphy tattoos on his ankles. These turned out to have no bearing on the case.
Li's final dying act was to swallow one of the the shell casings ejected from Lam's gun. This act became the turning point in the case because there was a fingerprint on the casing, which was revealed by electrostatic enhancement. The murder was investigated by LAPD detectives Harry Bosch and Ignacio Ferras. The fingerprint was that of Henry Lau, which led them to the killer and the conspiracy involving Li's son and daughter.
Ironically, the autopsy showed that Li had lung cancer which would probably have killed him soon.