HEMET (CBSLA.com) — Authorities are investigating the shooting death of an elderly man who was shot to death Saturday evening while unloading groceries in the garage of his Hemet home.
Police said in a department statement that the 77-year-old victim was found in the 2800 block of W. Fruitvale Avenue on Saturday evening about 9:13 p.m.
The victim was taken to Hemet Valley Medical Center where he died.
KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple spoke to the man’s neighbors Sunday evening. They identified the man as a long-time resident named Victor.
“We did hear a pop, but we didn’t know what it was,” says Alma Jarquin.
“He was a fun, active, happy-go-lucky guy. Involved in the church,” said the victim’s friend, Carol Armijo.
She said she knew Victor for more than a decade and said the deceased and his wife had just returned home from visiting relatives in Buena Park.
While a motive for the shooting was uncertain, the statement said the murder might be related to an attempted robbery.
Armijo said the couple was unloading groceries just before the man was shot.
“They pulled into the driveway like they normally do. She went in, he was unloading the car and as we was getting out of the car, a vehicle came by and just shot at him,” said Armijo.
Neighbors also said Victor’s wife was distraught when she saw her husband had been shot.
“She had a heart attack,” said Armijo. “She is in the hospital now.”
She added, “[Victor’s wife] is shocked by the entire situation. Her world is collapsing in front of her. It’s pretty sad.”
The neighbors believe Victor had to be the victim of mistaken identity.
“We’re really upset because this is supposed to be a senior community, and, I mean … I take care of my my and my dad and there is no reason for that [violence],” said Jarquin.