COVINA (CBSLA.com) — The family of a murdered Dodgers fan shared their grief, shock and disbelief Thursday.
The victim, 24-year-old Jonathan Denver, was remembered by his grandfather and aunt as a doting young man who loved his family.
They said he was in San Francisco, with his brother, to help their dad celebrate his 49th birthday.
The victim’s grandfather and aunt spoke to CBS2’s Dave Lopez at the grandfather’s Covina home.
Reports Lopez, “They were both very kind to talk to reporters. They are grief-stricken. They then asked us for privacy which is why we are reporting from around the corner.”
Denver was the son of a Dodgers security guard.
The family told Lopez the trip up north was a combination birthday celebration and reunion that ended tragically.
Father and son had not seen each other for some time.
“We are just trying to figure out what’s gone wrong with this country,” said Denver’s grandfather, Robert Preece Sr.
The aunt, Janet Alvarado, told reporters “Today is my brother’s birthday.”
The family said the victim, his brother and their father had a great time at the game when they began to walk back to their car.
“All I know is, they were walking back to their vehicle. They were going to get into their vehicle and a Giants fan made a comment. Comments were exchanged and an altercation broke out,” said Alvarado.
She said her brother and nephews were not the type of people who would fight.
“No, none of them were fighters,” she said.
The victim’s grandfather said his son was working at Dodgers Stadium the night that Bryan Stow was beaten.
He said his son often talked about that incident adding that he was on the opposite side of the stadium when it happened.
Lopez asked if they were ever worried for their son or brother’s safety at a ball game?
“It never dawned on us to be worried about them,” said Preece.
“I wish I could tell you how this happened, or why this happened,” said Alvarado. “I have no clue why anyone would do this to any family.”