Family, friends and children gathered in Imperial Beach Wednesday night to mourn a man allegedly shot and killed by a volatile ex-girlfriend.
Former Navy sailor Victor Saucedo, 28, was shot and killed in a hail of gunfire in his own apartment Tuesday. According to police, the prime suspect in his death is ex-girlfriend Vegas Bray, 24, who friends said allegedly stalked Saucedo for months prior to his fatal shooting.
Bray was questioned and arrested in connection with Saucedo’s shooting death Tuesday night, police said.
On Thursday, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department officially confirmed Saucedo's identity.
Friends of Saucedo gathered Wednesday evening at the IB Pier to remember the man who they said gave everyone the benefit of the doubt.
The friends told NBC 7 that the former sailor had called the sheriff's department multiple times to report several months'-worth of harassment by Bray. The department confirmed that they received calls from Saucedo reporting vandalism. The calls were investigated, but no one was arrested and authorities never identified a suspect in the claims.
At the emotional vigil held for Saucedo, loved ones – including his 7-year-old son, Jeremiah – expressed their sadness.
“My dad is the only guy I know. That’s why I love him so much – so super much,” said Jeremiah.
The young boy should have had a long life with his father but now, because of what happened, all he has left are photos of his dad.
“My dad died last night because the ex-girlfriend killed my dad,” Jeremiah said at the vigil.
Saucedo’s family said Bray was a violent, relentless stalker who had been after Saucedo for a long time.
“She cut his tires, she came to his house; she egged him in the middle of the night. She took bottles and threw them at the door and almost hit my grandson,” Jeremiah’s grandmother Stephanie Stratten told NBC 7 at the vigil.
Stratten said Saucedo had contacted law enforcement numerous times regarding Bray. He pleaded for help, but nothing ever came of it, Stratten said.
“He didn’t have enough evidence. How much evidence did you need? Now he’s dead,” she sobbed.
Despite the allegations from Saucedo’s loved ones about Bray’s violent and obsessive tendencies, Bray’s mother told NBC 7 that her daughter is a wonderful, loving woman who would never stalk anyone.
“She doesn’t have to do that. She could have anyone she wanted,” said Bray’s mother, who did not want to be identified.
Bray’s mother said her daughter is a former Navy sailor and would never hurt anyone on purpose.
“She stayed there are called 911, and they told her to stay there until the police came,” she added.
The mother believes Bray may have been defending herself at Saucedo’s apartment.
“Like sometimes Vegas gets flashes and she can’t remember what she did because she gets angry, but she had to be provoked to the utmost point. I [have] never seen or thought anything like this would happen,” she told NBC 7.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that Saucedo lost his life and his shooting death has left his loved ones completely heartbroken – especially his young son.
“I love my dad so much,” added Jeremiah.
Saucedo's family has started memorial fund in his name at Bank of America. Anyone who would like to donate to the Victor C. Saucedo memorial fund can do so by providing this account number at the bank: 164107146486.