Neighbors and community members in Pasadena Sunday mourned the death of a man they called a pillar of the Hispanic community there, gunned down along with his daughter and a good Samaritan in his home on Summit Avenue.
Friends said Luis Aguiar was 91-years-old, and a leader in the community at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, where he was instrumental to bringing the first Spanish language mass in the 1980s.
Churchgoer Laura Prieto fought back tears while pointing out Aguilar’s regular pew.
“We’re not going to see him there no more and it just hurts,” she said. “It hurts real bad.”
A native of Mexico, Aguiar lived with his daughter, Maria Theresa, who took care of him.
“He was very loved by every one of us and he’s going to be in our hearts forever,” another friend told NBC4.
John Izael Smith, 44, reportedly rented from Aguiar, and after a rent dispute allegedly shot both Maria Teresa and Luis with an assault rifle Saturday.
He also shot and killed a man in his 20s who ran to help the father and daughter. He has not been identified.
“I just can’t believe it,” neighbor Juan Uribe said.
Luis Aguiar was remembered at the church as a man of strong faith, who said special prayers on the twelfth of each month for Our Virgin of Guadalupe.
Freddy Duran pointed out that Aguiar died July 12.
“”Even in these tragedies, God plans how,” he said.