Family recalls 'happy,' 'helpful' man as shooting victim

LAMONT, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The family of a man found shot to death outside his home Sunday describe Enrique Velasquez as "helpful" and recalled barbecuing with him the night before.

Homicide detectives were called just before 10 a.m. Sunday after Velasquez was found in the back of his home on the 5000 block of Weedpatch Highway.

A relative who asked not to be identified said she made the discovery.

"I can't say a lot, because when I got there he was already outside," she said. "I don't know what happened. But I do know someone entered his home and shot him. I don't know why, or who was it, I don't know anything."

Velasquez was surrounded by family at the same home the prior evening.

"Saturday night, he came and he was very happy, we had a barbecue," said the woman. "He was a happy man. He was very social and friendly. He was also very direct. Maybe that's something that bothered people."

Kern County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Smallwood said they consider the death suspicious.

"It's our belief that there was a physical altercation," Smallwood said. "There does not appear to be any gang involvement at this time."

As homicide investigators searched the home, Velasqeuz's family said unanswered questions add so much more grief.

"I don't know what happened, the only thing I do know is that he's there dead," said the woman. "He had many friends, very helpful. He was always willing to help people."

Velasquez's family said he was home alone during the shooting. They also said he was a father.