Vigil held for San Jose homicide suspect killed by police

Dozens of people gathered Saturday night to say goodbye to a young man who became the first person killed by San Jose police this year.

Police describe the victim as dangerous, but the family says that isn’t so.

KTVU has learned the identity of the victim from the family during a candlelight vigil in the city’s Alum Rock neighborhood.

"We stand with you tonight to mourn," said one of the speakers.

As dusk turned to night, more than two dozen people with heavy hearts gathered to remember David Tovar Jr. 

Family members identify the 27-year-old as the young man who was shot and killed by officers Thursday afternoon at the Villa Fairlane apartment complex near La Pala Drive and McKee Road, in what San Jose police describe as a "confrontation."

"He was a good kid.  That’s all I know.  It’s wrong what they did," said David Tovar senior, the victim’s father.

Relatives describe Tovar Jr. as a good guy who made some bad decisions.

"He made decisions.  For whatever reason, he got caught up in this life.  Wasn’t really sure.  It was a rough life," said a man who identified himself as the victim’s uncle.

On Thursday, San Jose police said officers confronted Tovar because he was a person of interest in a string of violent crimes, including a homicide and shootings in Gilroy, weapons violations in San Jose, and a shooting at Galvan Park in Morgan Hill on Jan. 5. 

"Obviously an ongoing threat to the public, committed numerous weapons violations, is being looked at for serious felonies in various jurisdictions within our county.  We were dealing with a very, very dangerous individual here today," Sgt. Christian Camarillo said at the time. 

Tovar Sr. said those are merely allegations:  "They made him out to look like he’s a bad person.  He’s not."

Police have not said whether Tovar was carrying any weapons when he was shot or what exactly led more than one officer to fire their guns.

There are many unanswered questions surrounding the shooting, but some in the crowd are vowing to help the family get the facts.

"We’re going to help you get the answers you need so you can get some kind of, you’re never going to get closure because you can never get your son back, but some kind of healing, a little bit," said an unidentified woman.

San Jose Police say they will have more to say about the case Monday.