Andres Martinez Pita Jr. got the call overnight Monday that his dad, Andres Martinez, had been shot and killed at Desert Hot Springs Mobile Home Park.
"It's crazy; I'm still in disbelief," Martinez said. "My dad was a very good guy. He was always looking out for people, and to me it was random."
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Police were called to the community on 5th Street near Palm Drive just before 11 p.m. Monday. Martinez said his father had been a resident there for more than 20 years.
"Was somebody trying to get him directly, or was it something that went wrong? Was it just a 'wrong place, wrong time' situation," Martinez said. "To hear my dad was shot, that was one thing, but being murdered, that's a whole different thing."
Martinez said the area is known for crime, something his dad had dealt with for decades. "I always tried to get my dad out of there but he was happy where he was," he said.
Martinez's dad's shooting leaves a hole in a growing family, including his kids and grandkids.
"He's a dad, he's a brother, he's a friend, he's a cousin," a"He left a lot of good people behind and he's going to be very missed."
But Martinez said his dad is also leaving behind a lasting legacy of artistry: sculptures and multimedia figurines he had been working on for the last five years to grow into an art business.
"He really loved doing that – that was his bread and butter right there," he said.
There is still no suspect caught, and no details were available from police on who they are looking for.
The family said they are waiting for an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.