The search for whoever is responsible led to the shutdown of his school and a nearby elementary school.
Vallejo police are asking for help in locating the person who killed the 17-year-old boy.
His father attended a vigil for his son on Thursday night.
The family pastor offered James Busch Sr. a hug.
Dozens of people arrived for the gathering held along the pathway where Max Busch was shot and killed just hours earlier.
His father tells KTVU Max was a loving son. "Very respectful, very fun, very full of life. He loved his friends. He loved his family. He didn't care much for school. Everybody's got their downfall," said Busch as he described his son.
Max was a senior at Jesse Bethel High. But he was off campus just behind the school, on a pathway where teens hang out when he was killed.
His father and friends shared recent photos of Max attending prom, with graduation only a month away.
"He was looking forward to getting his first job. He's been trying. He's a good boy, the pain unbelievable. I really can't put into words," said Busch.
The grieving father says his son loved skateboarding. His plans included a job at a warehouse and college.
"Just wanted to grow up and have a family. He had a beautiful girlfriend. It's very sad. It's tragic," said Busch.
It was a somber walk down the pathway to the crime scene.
Friends are trying to make sense of what happened.
"I'm devastated. This is a kid I've known since his early teens," said Gerald Segmiller, the family's pastor at Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints.
Police have not yet said what the motive for the killing is.
KTVU asked Busch if he had any idea who would want to hurt his son,
"Those cowards. Can't use their fists, who knows? We don't know exactly what happened," Busch replied.
When asked what he would say to the person responsible, "I hope they burn in hell."
Max Busch was the youngest of five children.
Police say a person was seen running from the scene.
After an extensive search, police have not yet arrested anyone for the killing.