Marvin's brother Frankie and his wife, Irene, were next door when Irene heard the shots. When Irene rushed outside, she saw Marvin's mother screaming for help saying "He shot my son!" Frankie ran upstairs to see his dying brother struggling to breathe, while Irene called 9-1-1. Paramedics arrived to find Gaye Sr. sitting on the front porch. They demanded to see the gun before they would enter the house. Irene found it under Marvin Sr.'s pillow and threw it on the lawn. When police arrived, Gaye, Sr. was quickly escorted to the police station for questioning.
Gaye was pronounced dead on arrival upon his entry to the California Hospital Medical Center at 1:10 pm PST, dying a day before his 45th birthday (April 2). Fans and neighbors of Marvin's crowded around the scene of the crime shortly after hearing the news.