Family of Man Killed While Mowing Lawn Speaks | News
WATSONVILLE, Calif. -- On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he was gunned down while mowing a lawn, Rafael Cendejas' family wanted to share the story behind the 42-year-old father.
One of Cendejas' family told Central Coast News the news came as a shock. "It just blew my mind you know. I never thought this would happen out here. You know around the neighborhood. It's super quiet here. there's no arguments."
On Wednesday, Rafael Cendejas' grieving family said the father of three was a good man who liked to tell joke and never said no to someone who needed help. "He's really smart with computers. That was his main gig was electronics, that's what he really likes doing. That was his thing working on computers and doing favors for other people. He liked doing favors for other people," said family members.
That's what he was doing Tuesday night when he was shot. Cendejas was mowing a neighbors lawn on the 300 block of Dutchman Road when deputies say a red or maroon compact car drove up, a group of people got out and opened fire.
Investigators at the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said Cendejas may have been targeted and they're trying to figure out if he's connected to any gangs. They also said they responded to problems in this neighborhood before. Neighbors and family say that's not true.
Neighbors described the area as quiet and no violence ever happened on Dutchman Road before. They said you could walk around mow your lawn without any problems. Some said this shooting must have been a random act of violence, or the victim was mistaken for someone else."Never any fights. Especially gun shootings. We've never had these kind of issues," said one neighbor.
Now Cendejas' family is trying to understand why his act of kindness led to his violent death. "There would be people who would come and look for him but I've never seen nobody try to come here and hurt him," said the family.
Investigators are still looking into several possible reasons for the crime. Deputies don't have any suspects.