GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - There has been an outpouring of support to the family of a maintenance worker who was shot and killed while working to check frozen pipes at an apartment complex in Grand Prairie on Christmas Eve.
Police say a person inside the Clayton Pointe Apartment Complex shot 53-year-old Cesar Montelongo because he thought he was a burglar.
Montelongo's son, Cesar Montelongo Jr., spoke to FOX 4 by phone on Tuesday.
"The morning of the 24th my father and mother went on a breakfast date because they were celebrating early," he said.
Cesar Montelongo (Courtesy: Montelongo Family)
Cesar and his wife Candelaria were a day shy of marking 29 years of marriage.
"However my dad didn't make it to the anniversary," Montelongo said.
Cesar Jr, the oldest of 5 children, says his father worked at the apartment complex as the head of maintenance.
Saturday, he was on call, and he stopped by the complex sometime before 6 p.m. to check for frozen pipes.
"Next thing we know my dad is being rushed to the hospital, and we get told that he was shot just while he was working," said Montelongo.
Grand Prairie police say Montelongo Sr. was in the process of checking water lines on balconies after several pipes had ruptured.
Investigators say an armed tenant, who has not been identified by police, believed Montelongo was breaking into his apartment and shot the maintenance worker through a window.
"He was working on things outside," his son said. "He was never trying to break into anything. My dad worked there for 16 years. He had no need to steal anybody's stuff."
While Montelongo Jr. calls it a horrible accident, he still has many unanswered questions.
"I'm not 100% sure if whoever did it is or was a resident of that complex, and if so for how long and if they weren't, were they just visiting or were they staying with whoever it was for the holidays?" he said.
Police say the tenant remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled Montelongo's death as a homicide, and police say the case will go to a grand jury.
It will be up to the grand jury to decide if this tenant will face any charges.
"He was just a light. He was always humble. He never bragged about anything," his son said. "Me being the oldest, I'm doing everything that I can to stay strong and be the strongest one for all of us."
The family is now leaning on faith as they try to figure out how to move forward.
"We do forgive the person for what they did, and we pray that the Lord forgives the person for what they did, however justice is justice and fair is fair, and whatever that looks like it's going to be up to the Lord and the grand jury."