Jim Hirsch is in shock after learning his 40-year-old son Matthew Hirsh was shot and killed in a robbery while working as an overnight clerk at the Brea 7-Eleven location.
"It hasn't hit yet," he said.
The Brea store is one of six 7-Eleven across Southern California that were robbed at gunpoint over a five-hour period early Monday. One more victim was killed and three more injured.
Police suspect the same man is connected to the robberies.
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Hirsch says when his son got the job six months ago, he worried about him working alone. The son tried to ease his father's fears by saying his tattoos would scare off any danger.
"I go, 'Matt just watch yourself.' He said, 'When people come in I scare them more,'" said Hirsch.
Matt grew up in South Gate and struggled with drug addiction, but recently got sober, his father said.
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"The horrible situation is after the struggles with him that he had no time to enjoy it," said Hirsch.
Fellow friends and co-workers gathered outside of the Brea 7-Eleven to mourn.
"He was a great friend, looked out for everybody," said Jerrie Adams, a co-worker. "He'd do anything for any of us, even customers. He'd walk them to their car if it was late at night."
Stephanie Alverz, a former manager at the Brea 7-Eleven trained him and they bonded over their newfound sobriety.
"We were both proud of each other and cheered each other on everyday," said Alverz. "He was my best friend, now he's gone because somebody's stupid."
Matt’s father suffers from metastatic cancer found a handwritten note Matt had left for him.
"Love ya pops just wanted to say thanks so much and I love ya so much. Matt."