A San Diego man who was brutally killed in a series of random attacks tied to a man preying on homeless people was remembered Thursday as an "innocent" by his mother.
Shawn Longley, 41, was one of the victims - killed Monday in what investigators are describing as a "senseless" attack.
The death of Longley's father when he was 15 may have played a role in his homelessness, his mother Linda Gramlick told NBC 7 from her home in Florida.
She said a piece of him was also taken away when the state of North Carolina took his two girls. His daughters, 12 and 15, have been adopted.
Longley was Gramlick's only child, and she said he was a person who would never hurt anyone.
“He was a very good person. Just because he was homeless doesn’t mean he deserves to die,” Gramlick lamented. “I hope they catch this monster.” She and her son had been estranged, but the two had seen each other from time to time.
She said the last time she had spoken with her son they had an argument and she decided to let him cool off before trying to speak with him again.
Gramlick explained that Longley had been living from place to place until he met a woman who he settled down in North Carolina with and had his girls. They eventually separated.
She said her son had always been a loner and had trouble holding down a job, but he wanted to move back to San Diego where he was born, because he liked the weather and the people.
"He had his ups and downs. He wasn't an angel...but he certainly never deserved to die like an animal," Gramlick said.
I never thought I would never speak to him again,” she said. “Thanks to this monster I will never speak to him again.”
Ed. Note: A previous version of this article mentioned a man taken into custody by SDPD in connection with Longley's death. Four days later, police released the man saying they have examined the evidence in the case and found reason to exclude him as a suspect.