Family Looking for Answers After Man Gunned Down at Modesto Park

MODESTO -- The family of a man murdered in a west Modesto park is asking for your help. Ricardo Claud Vasquez was shot and killed Saturday morning. Police are still looking for the shooter.

"He changed my life when he came into my life. And he's always been since day one, a part of my life," said Laticia Gonzales, the victim's mother.

Gonzales is talking about her son, 24-year-old Ricardo Claud Vasquez.

"And somebody shot him right there at Mellis Park. And they're still out there," Gonzales said.

Modesto police say it started when Vasquez got into some sort of fight with another man. The other man left, but a short time later, he returned in a minivan, pulled a gun and shot Vasquez before taking off. Vasquez's family says he was not part of any gang, and while they don't know all the details, they say he was at that park protecting a female cousin of his.

"He wasn't in the streets, that's what I'm saying. He has a home, you know. He has no reason. He's a good man, he takes care of his kids," said family friend Taft Tinnin.

A 3-year-old girl and a 2-year-old son lost their father.

Gonzales says people in Modesto know who the shooter is and where he is. She hopes they come forward.

"I need the community's help to bring some justice in this because my son didn't deserve to go like that," Gonzales said.

"We had a lot of fun, he was very active when he was young," said Vidan Vasquez, Ricardo's grandfather.

While his family is holding on to the good memories, they say they need his killer brought to justice.

"Do what's right because there needs to be justice done for my son. And I don't want it done the wrong way, I want it done the right way," his mother said.

Anyone with information about Saturday's shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.