Family, friends mourn man killed at El Monte Jack in the Box during attempted robbery

Family, friends mourn man killed at El Monte Jack in the Box during attempted robbery

EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) —

Dozens of candles illuminated pictures of Juan Vidal at a makeshift memorial Saturday night to honor the El Monte Jack in the Box employee who was killed by a masked robbery suspect.

Homicide detectives said the suspect jumped over the counter Friday night, shot Juan and fled without taking any money. Paramedics were unable to save the 25-year-old.

“He was my only child. My life will probably never be the same,” his mother Mary Smay said.

Juan’s parents, relatives and friends held a candlelight vigil to pray and grieve over the enormity of their loss. His father tried to console Juliana Sasaki, who would have been his daughter-in-law.

“No matter what he did, he saw no bad in people. He helped everyone out the best he could even when he had nothing,” she said.

She and Juan got engaged in June. He had just finished school to become a pharmacy technician. Friends said he was also a Volkswagen enthusiast and member of Dub Folks car club.

His father, Frank Rivera, hopes the gunman is caught soon before he has a chance to ruin another family. The reality of losing his son has yet to sink in, he said.

“He would like for everybody to smile up to him for a minute. He was a good kid, he was different than the other kid. He was just Juan. He didn’t try to impress nobody, didn’t try to be anybody he wasn’t. He was just Juan – it made him so special,” he said.

Investigators are looking over surveillance video from the restaurant to piece together what happened and to help them identify the suspect. They will also try to get surveillance footage from nearby businesses.

(Copyright ©2016 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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